Prosper survives Boyd’s comeback bid in a game of runs

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Prosper vs. Boyd basketball

Prosper senior Austin Atkinson and the Eagles held off Boyd’s furious rally in the fourth quarter to hang on for a 58-51 victory.

In a basketball game featuring double digit runs by both McKinney Boyd and Prosper, the Eagles were able to survive the Broncos dramatic comeback attempt to hold on for a 58-51 key district 9-6A victory.

With the win, state-ranked Prosper improves to 2-0 in district play and remains on course to make a legit run at a district title, while Boyd falls to 1-1 in district on the heels of their dramatic victory over Plano West last week. After going into halftime with a 26-20 lead, Prosper played its best and worst quarters of the night in the second half and left the court with a lot of lessons learned to complement the big road victory.

“We put ourselves in the position to be up by a lot of points, but at the same time we have to be able to handle the pressure when it comes our way and game experience is better than practice and we will learn from this,” said Jonathan Ellis, Prosper head coach. “We are proud of our defense as that helped us get the lead and hold them off in the end as two of our guys Ammon Allan and Neal Utrup had career best defensive games. Now our kids know you have to play a whole 32 minutes to win games in this district because the teams we play are too talented and well coached not to.”

Prosper was led by star senior forward Mondo Battle II, who scored the Eagles’ first nine points of the game while setting the tone for the night on his way to scoring a game-high 25 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Battle was a problem for Boyd all night long, as he scored six of the Eagles first 13 points of the second half as the Eagles used a 13-0 run to springboard to a big 39-20 lead.

In the fourth quarter after an impressive comeback rally by Boyd, Battle hit a nice floater with 1:17 left to give Prosper a 54-48 lead with 1:17 left and the cushion the Eagles needed to get to the finish line for the win. Although it’s very early in district action, Battle’s show-stopping performance could have his name in the district MVP discussion all season long, because his outstanding play was a key ingredient into the Eagles victory.

“I got to come out like I did tonight every time I come to play because it had me going all night and pumped up my team as well,” Battle said. “Down the stretch I knew I had to make a play for my team and I’m glad that floater fell for me because we needed that after not playing well in the fourth quarter. It’s big to start off district 2-0 after starting 1-1 last season, because we are focused on taking things game by game to give us the best chance to win a district title.”

Despite not being happy with the loss, Boyd has a lot of positives to build on going forward, as the Broncos scored 14 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to cut a 52-34 deficit down to 52-48. During their comeback attempt, Boyd forced Prosper into five turnovers and five missed shots while applying full court pressure and playing tough man-to-man defense while speeding up the game.

With Prosper focusing on Colin O'Brien, who led the Broncos with a team-high 13 points, Boyd simply couldn’t get the shot, or the breaks, needed to get over the hump. As a result, Boyd left the court with a positive outlook after going toe-to-toe with one of the top teams in the area.

“We dug ourselves a hole early by not coming out with the energy we needed early, but played well and sped them up in the fourth quarter despite coming out flat in the third quarter - I’m proud of how our guys competed the whole game,” said Jeremy Josey, Boyd head coach. “This game is one of many on our 9-6A journey and we lost and will learn from this and comeback better for it going forward.”

For continued coverage of the local sports scene, follow Kendrick E. Johnson on Twitter@kendrickjohnso

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