Coming off a pair of blowout wins, the Prosper girls basketball team lost 49-46 in a heartbreaker to Frisco Liberty on Tuesday, Feb. 21 at the Culwell Center in Garland.
Prosper (25-10) trailed most of the game but had a pair of chances to tie the game in the final minute. The first was an open look at a 3-pointer from the left corner by senior Bailey Lightfoot, but the shot hit the back rim.
The Lady Eagles immediately fouled but Liberty (29-6) missed their first free throw, keeping it a one-possession game. Lightfoot then had another chance to tie it with a three from the wing but couldn’t get it to fall.
“We got our looks,” Prosper coach Trey Rachal said. “It was just a really good basketball game and we didn’t get to come out on top.”
The Lady Eagles only led twice in the second half but never fell behind by more than four points. They also cut the largest deficit they faced thanks to eight consecutive points from sophomore Jordyn Oliver to end the second quarter, tying the game at 26-26 going into halftime.
“Every time you put them in a situation where people would consider them down and out, that’s when I think we’re at our best,” Rachal said. “We play with a chip on our shoulder, with a little bit of an attitude.”
Prosper’s main defensive goal was to slow down Liberty senior Jordan Hamilton. Senior Alexa Boushey defended her most of the game and held her to 9 points. However, her teammates Rebecca Lescay and Ajine Taylor stepped up, scoring 13 points each.
Offensively, the Lady Eagles consistently used a balanced attack. Oliver finished with a game-high 16 points and junior Mackenzie Hewitt added nine. Meanwhile, the senior group of Boushey, Lightfoot and Hannah Reynolds combined for 19 points.
“They move the ball so well,” Liberty head coach Ross Reedy said. “They played so unselfishly. You have to guard everybody.”
Rachal credited his veteran players for turning around the Prosper program. They Lady Eagles won only five games in his first season but have averaged 25 wins per season for the past three years.
”The growth of the program has come with those seniors,” Rachal said. “We’re so thankful for the work they’ve done.”
The loss ended Prosper’s playoff run one round earlier than last season. Coming so close against a Liberty team that went 13-1 in district play and finished as the No. 6 ranked team in the state, Rachal said Prosper belongs with the best of the best.
“We knew this was going to be a close game and we were going to have to fight,” Prosper coach Trey Rachal said. “We just came up a tiny bit short.”