Little Elm 61, Prosper 50
Prosper was unable to take down the top team in the district standings, losing to Little Elm 61-50 at home on Tuesday, Jan. 17.
The Eagles trailed for most of the game but did not fall behind by more than six points until the final minutes. Little Elm finished the game on an 11-0 run and is the No. 5 ranked team in the state, according to the Texas Association of Basketball Coaches.
“We’re a young team that’s improving every game,” Prosper coach Jonathan Ellis said. “We love that we fought. We love that we played hard.”
Struggles from three-point range was a big factor for Prosper. The Eagles shot 2-or-21 as a team from behind the arc with their only makes coming from sophomore Josh Davis in the fourth quarter.
Rebounding kept the Eagles within reach throughout the game. They grabbed 42 as a team, including 20 offensive boards.
Junior Taveion White led the effort with a double-double with 11 points and 13 rebounds. Davis added 10 boards, and junior Zachary Wrightsil posted 19 points and eight rebounds.
“I thought we played tenacious,” Ellis said. “We knew we had to win the boards to have a chance to beat them tonight, and we did.”
Little Elm got the win thanks to their offense and remain undefeated in district play. Freshman RJ Hampton led the Lobos with 27 points and already has collegiate offers from SMU, TCU and Texas A&M.
White said it was good to play against a top-ranked team with D-1 level recruits in front of a big crowd.
“You’re not going to have 30-point blowouts or a small crowd whenever you go into a playoff game. You’re going to have big student sections that are loud,” White said. “That’s just getting us ready for it.“
Prosper 55, Little Elm 37
Prosper bounced back with a road victory on Friday, Jan. 20, winning 55-37 over Little Elm.
The Eagles started slow in the first quarter but bounced back to make it a one-point game at halftime. They were down 13-7 after the first eight minutes.
The second half was a different story. Prosper dominated and went on a 12-0 run to start the third quarter thanks to a trio of three-pointers from junior Kyle Jessen. He finished with a team-high 14 points.
Four different players scored in double-digits for the Eagles, including senior Thomas Jordan and juniors Taveion White and Zachary Wrightsil.
“We’re a very well-balanced team and think there were some guys that didn’t play much tonight that are going to help us down the road too,” Ellis said. “We were sharing the basketball. That was excellent.”
Newman-Smith’s Jalen Nichols finished with a game-high 22 points, including four threes. Ellis said playing talented players like him is good preparation for what lies ahead in district play.
“He’s a really good point guard,” Ellis said. “He’s quick but controlled. He’s tough to keep in front, and when he’s hitting threes, it’s really tough to defend him.”
Prosper is now in third place in the district standings and have won half of their past six games. Their next game is at home versus Turner on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
“We want to be that hot team streaking into the playoffs,” Ellis said. “If we have to go through this roller-coaster, that’s OK, as long as we finish strong.”