MCKINNEY — It was apparent that the Prosper Lady Eagles were still riding the high of their perfect district record and district championship after a 62-33 win over Frisco Centennial in the 5A Region II bi-district round of the playoffs at McKinney High on Monday, Feb. 12.
At first, it seemed like an even matchup; both teams were trading points in the first quarter. When Prosper scored, Centennial answered with a basket.
“I used to freak out whenever games started that way,” Prosper head coach Trey Rachal said with a laugh. “I really just believe that once we kind of settle into the groove of the game, we’re going to do what we do really well and we did that tonight.”
The second quarter was a different story, however. A strong offense with junior Jordyn Oliver at the helm emerged and secured the lead with a 20-2 run. Oliver contributed 19 points and senior Mackenzie Hewitt had eight points as Prosper took a 32-14 lead at the end of the second quarter.
Oliver went 13-for-18 (72 percent) from the floor and Hewitt was 4-for-6 on three-pointers.
“I saw a different focus from our kids,” Rachal said. “You could just tell that our kids realized that every game it’s win or go home.”
A stifling defense played a big role in the blowout. Prosper shut down Centennial shooters and held the Lady Titans to single-digits in scoring for three of the four quarters. Prosper also had a whopping 47 rebounds and 11 steals as a team.
“I think there was kind of that gritty mentality that we’ve ingrained all year,” Rachal said. “We may not shoot the ball great every night, but we can defend it every night. Early on, we weren’t good offensively, but our defense kind of carried us and kept us level and it helped us push throughout the game.”
Rachal let off the gas in the fourth quarter as Prosper led by 30 points, benching the starters and letting other players have a chance on the floor. Eight out of 13 players put points on the board.
Next up, the state-ranked Lady Eagles (30-3) play Lucas Lovejoy (27-8) for the Region II area championship on Friday, Feb. 16 at Plano Senior High School. Tip-off is at 7 p.m.