The Prosper boys basketball team made history on Saturday, Dec. 2, defeating Little Elm 60-56 to earn the championship at the fifth-annual Prosper ISD Invitational.
It was the first time Prosper (11-0, No. 16 in 5A State rankings) has won the tournament since it restarted in 2013. The final win came against a familiar foe and district rival in Little Elm (9-3, No. 8 in 5A), a team that Prosper lost to twice last season.
“We’ve been wanting them since last year when they beat us,” Prosper junior Josh Davis said. “We’ve been ready for this, and we wanted it more than they did tonight.”
Davis scored 25 points along with 6 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 blocks in the game. He was named the Tournament MVP, one year after missing Prosper’s championship game loss to Denton Guyer due to injury.
Davis faced off all game with Little Elm standout R.J. Hampton, the No. 1 ranked sophomore point guard prospect in the nation. Hampton finished with 27 points, 13 coming in the first quarter.
Prosper trailed by as many as 12 points in the second quarter but ended on a 19-5 run and headed into halftime with a two-point lead. The rally was sparked by Davis, who sprinted for a chase-down block and followed up with a three-pointer on the other end.
“I just thought our energy level picked up,” Prosper head coach Jonathan Ellis said. “Josh got some big buckets to get the crowd into it, and all our other guys fed off it.”
From that point on, Prosper put most of its focus on slowing down Hampton. Davis took the assignment of guarding Hampton on defense and looked to get a mental edge, denying him the ball at all costs.
“I looked him down the eye the whole game. I think it worked,” Davis said. “He had been staying stuff all week, so I had to go out and prove that he was wrong.”
Also helping fuel the win were seniors Taveion White (5 points, 10 rebounds, 3 blocks) and Kyle Jessen (12 points). Both players were named to the All-Tournament First Team.
The win keeps Prosper’s perfect record in tact this season. It’s the first time the Eagles have been undefeated this long in the past decade. Other wins in the Prosper tournament included a 54-50 victory over Richardson, 75-58 against Parish Episcoal and a 57-40 win versus Wylie East.
Even with the early success, Ellis and his team are not getting ahead of themselves. No wins count towards playoff seeding until district play begins in January.
“We still have a long road ahead of us,” White said. “This preseason stuff doesn’t mean as much. It’s all about district and making it far in the playoffs.”