Prairie View finally put it together for four quarters.
Less than two weeks after opening MAIS District 3-2A play with a 69-48 road loss to Central Hinds, Prairie View pulled off a reversal by shellacking the Cougars 67-30 on Tuesday night at Spartan Gym.
It was just the effort Prairie View coach Joseph "Boo" Waller had been looking for.
"I told them in the locker room right before the game that we hadn't put together a complete game yet," Waller recalled. "I felt like (Tuesday night) we finally did. We played with some enthusiasm and excitement. It was just a good atmosphere. I've been trying to convince them that you play better when you play with a little emotion."
Clinging to a 16-14 lead at the end of the first quarter, the Spartans seized control of the game by outscoring the Cougars 21-2 in the second frame. Tyler Jones had 10 of his 19 points in the pivotal quarter as Prairie View carried a 37-16 spread into the break.
While Jones paced the Spartans' offensively, Payton Hollis was the difference-maker on defense. Ben Davis, the Cougars' 6-10 center, scored 27 points in the Cougars' Jan. 8 win over the Spartans in Raymond, Miss. Davis got off to a strong start in Tuesday's game with eight first quarter points, but managed only one more bucket after Hollis was inserted into the game early in the second period.
"I thought Payton turned the game around," Waller said. "We put Payton in two or three minutes into the second quarter and (Davis) only had two more points the rest of the game."
Playing without point guard Trae Muse, who scored 25 points in the first meeting, the Cougars never got untracked offensively.
Prairie View upped its lead to 51-23 at the end of three.
Jones' 19 points included a dunk to go along with seven rebounds and four blocked shots. On a night when Brandon Jacobs and Brendan Tubbs were held well below their averages, Matt Reed took up the slack with a season-high 12 points. Uncharacteristically, 10 different players put points on the book for the Spartans. Also scoring were Jacobs with eight points, Tubbs with seven, Hollis with six, Kory McLarrin and Hunter Carpenter with four, Jacob Aulds with three and Drake Wilmore and Tyler Netherland with two.
"It's good when everybody can pitch in," Waller said.
Tubbs grabbed a team-high eight rebounds for the Spartans, while McLarrin added six assists and four steals with only one turnover.
"We really pounded the offensive glass and we only had four turnovers as a team," Waller said. "I'm hoping this will carry over and we can build off of it."
Prairie View (12-9, 2-1) travels to Coushatta to play Riverdale on Friday night.
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