Anger fueled 2014 guard JaQuan Lyle, a rising senior with the Spiece Indy Heat 17U team, to the best performance of the Run-n-Slam thus far.
Lyle's team was playing its fourth game of the day, a match-up against the Eric Gordon All-Stars 17U team and up-and-coming star Eron Gordon, a 2016 guard. The sophomore-to-be started out hot, showing off a much-improved jump shot and hitting a couple three-pointers in Lyle's face.
Then, Gordon got to talking. He put in a transition layup over Lyle and tossed the ball toward him after the make, warranting a technical foul.
From there, a new kind of focus overtook the stiff, tired way Lyle had approached the game to that point. He scored 14-straight points for his team, backing down Gordon in the high post and working him from all over the court with a variety of moves and finishes.
"I really didn't want to play; my body hurt," Lyle said after a career-high 44-point outing in a 79-67 win. "He was just talking crazy, saying I can't guard him, all that kind of stuff, I can't score on him.
"I had to do what I had to do."
Lyle and Gordon are two of the best-regarded prospects in their classes. The 6-foot-5 Evansville Bosse standout is among the top-25 players in the class of 2014, while Gordon, a North Central product, figures to be among the elite prospects in the 2016 class.
It was an intriguing battle between two of the state's best players that was made all the better thanks to the trash talk between the two.
"He's just talking all big and stuff," Lyle said of Gordon, who had 29 points. "I think that was our first time playing against each other. He had a pretty big season this year. I guess his head was big, so I brought it down."