Lake Arthur stops Doyle in Class 2A state championship game

Warren Arceneaux

HAMMOND — Lake Arthur held on late after building a huge lead to claim the Class 2A state championship Friday night with a 62-61 win over Doyle.

The win was the second state championship in program history, with the other coming in 1976.

Lake Arthur (28-4) held off a late rally by Doyle (25-5), which used a 20-2 run in the second half to trim a 21-point deficit to three in the fourth quarter. Katherine Leonards made a 3-pointer to give Lake Arthur breathing room with 4:35 remaining. Lake Arthur led by five in the final minute.

Doyle’s Kylee Savant scored with 16 seconds left to trim the lead to three. Lake Arthur turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, leading to a Doyle layup in the last second, but time expired as the ball fell through the net.

Leonards was named MVP after scoring 22 points.

Deonna Brister had 18 points, seven rebounds and seven blocked shots for Lake Arthur.

“We told the kids at halftime that Doyle was not going to give up, they were a battle-tested team,” Lake Arthur head coach Vickie said.

“But, we pulled it out and I couldn’t be happier or more excited for the kids. I think we got rattled and started playing not to lose instead playing to win. They didn’t panic. They calmed down and we got the win.”

Lake Arthur dominated the first quarter, putting together spurts of seven and 12 straight points to take a 24-11 lead. Brister and Leonards scored eight points each in the quarter. Brister blocked two shots as well, leading a defensive effort that also included four steals and holding Doyle to 4-of-16 shooting. Doyle entered the game averaging 75 points in its previous four games.

Leonards and Brister combined for nine second-quarter points as Lake Arthur maintained its cushion, leading 38-25 at halftime. Brister finished the half with 12 points, four rebounds, three blocks, a steal and an assist.

Doyle star Presleigh Scott scored 10 points on 4-of-13 shooting in the half. She added 10 rebounds and a steal to keep Doyle within striking distance.

She finished with 26 points and 20 rebounds.

The win provided a measure of revenge for Lake Arthur, which lost to Doyle in the semifinals last season. Doyle went on to win the state championship.Lake Arthur celebrates its victory over Doyle in the Class 2A championship game Friday in Hammond .

David Grunfeld / Special to the American Press

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