Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly identified the girls basketball coach. His name is James Rachal.
The Prosper girls basketball team experienced both highs and lows this week in district play.
The high came at home on Tuesday, Jan. 3 after defeating McKinney North 66-51. Despite a slow start, Prosper (16-7) built a big lead in the second half to earn the victory.
The Lady Eagles trailed by 11 points at halftime but went on a huge run to begin the third quarter, scoring 18 unanswered points and holding the Lady Bulldogs scoreless for over six minutes.
Prosper coach James Rachal said it was a result of an increase in effort, which helped lead to more transition points on offense.
“I thought we worked harder defensively, trying to make things more difficult for them,” Rachal said. “We're a team that plays really fast, and when we play kind of slow, it's not very pretty.”
McKinney North built its lead thanks to a big game from Chelsea Wooten. The freshman made four three-pointers in the first half, including a half-court buzzer-beater to end the second quarter.
“(Wooten) was awesome tonight,” Rachal said. “Once we started to contain her, you saw our runs go and we started to play better.”
Wooten finished with 18 points but was held to only two in the second half. Prosper's defense was led by senior Hannah Reynolds, who finished with five blocks.
“That's probably (Reynolds') best defensive game so far,” Rachal said. “If she plays like that and defends the rim, we're pretty tough to score on.”
Prosper used a balanced offensive attack to get the win. Freshman Jordyn Oliver led the team with 13 points on 50 percent shooting with 13 rebounds and four assists.
Seniors Taylor Stevenson, Reynolds, Alexa Boushey and junior Mackenzie Hewitt were also in double figures with 10 points apiece. Junior Lexi Lightfoot added eight points.
Prosper grabbed 42 rebounds, 17 on the offensive end, and recorded seven blocks, led by Reynolds, who had four blocks.
The Colony 67, Prosper 46
Prosper fell behind early again but was unable to come back in a road loss against The Colony on Friday, Jan. 6.
It was the first time the schools faced off since the Lady Eagles beat the Lady Cougars in the championship game of The Colony Winter Classic. That was The Colony's first and only loss of the season.
“Both teams knew it was going to be a tough game,” Rachal said. “They really wanted to win it, and our kids did as well. It was a hotly contested game a week ago, so everybody was excited for tonight.
Prosper was down 20-12 after the first quarter and 42-27 at halftime. They started the second half well, but ultimately couldn't slow The Colony down.
“If we're down that early, I need to make some adjustments,” Rachal said. “There's a lot of things we can do better when you get beat like that.”
Junior Mackenzie Hewitt scored 18 points for Prosper. She went 5 of 5 from the free throw line. Oliver added 11 points and Boushey chipped in six points.
Colony freshman Jewel Spear led the game with 20 points. Teammate and senior Jade Williams had 17.
“Our defense needed to be better tonight,” Rachal said. “Our offense wasn't bad, we just didn't guard very well.”
Prosper continues district play next week, starting with a home matchup against Creekview on Jan. 10. Tipoff is at 6 p.m.
Prosper Press freelance writer Brian Gosset contributed to this report.