West Ashley basketball standout Dekeiya Cohen, considered to be one of the state's top five seniors and one of the nation's top 50 players, will undergo knee surgery and miss the remainder of her final prep season.
Cohen, who signed to play with national power Baylor in November, injured her knee in a game against Fort Dorchester in December. She injured the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee on a routine drive for a layup against the Patriots.
"She went to make a move she's made hundreds of times since the eighth grade," West Ashley coach Maria Williams said. "She just planted wrong. There was no collision with another player or anything like that."
Cohen had her knee examined and was fitted for a brace, but Williams didn't want to gamble on Cohen's future.
"We're going to sit her down the rest of the season," Williams said. "She was fitted for a brace, but the risk of further injury is not worth it. We just want her to get ready for college.
"I have talked to a lot of people, including Baylor, and we feel it's best for her to get it over with and have surgery."
It is a big blow for the Wildcats, who began the season as the No. 1 Class AAAA team in the state. She played in seven games for West Ashley, averaging 20.7 points, 9.3 rebounds and 3.6 assists per game before the injury. She accounted for nearly 40 percent of the Wildcats' points. The Wildcats were 7-0 with Cohen healthy and 1-3 since she was sidelined.
"It doesn't change our focus on what we need to do," said Williams of Cohen, who led the Wildcats to 68 victories in 80 games during her career. "I always build a team around a team and not one player."
Cohen, who was The Post and Courier's female athlete of the year for the 2012-13 academic year, will end her prep career with 1,944 career points.
She averaged 26.7 points, 13 rebounds, 4.1 assists and 3.5 shots blocked per game last season to be named first team All-Lowcountry for the second straight year.
Cohen selected Baylor over South Carolina, Miami, Louisville and Georgia.