GOOSE CREEK — She shoots and scores, dribbles and defends. And don’t forget about rebounding. West Ashley’s Dekeiya Cohen is the complete player.
But the junior’s resume won’t be complete until she leads her team to the Region 7-AAAA championship and, perhaps, a state title. Cohen and the Wildcats took a big step toward both with a 48-40 over the Goose Creek Gators on Friday night.
Cohen was the key as she scored 20 points, grabbed 20 rebounds, handed out five assists while tallying two blocks and two steals. Cohen has been on the varsity since the eighth grade and was 0-7 against the Gators until Friday night.
“It was a very intense game,” said Cohen, the second leading scorer in the Lowcountry with a 25.8 average. “This is a rivalry, and we needed a win to make it a rivalry. Until tonight, it was all West Ashley. Tonight, we proved we are the best in the region — for now.”
The victory gave the No. 3 Wildcats a 14-1 record, including 2-0 in the region. Goose Creek, No. 4 in the latest state poll, fell to 15-3, 1-1. It was also the Gators’ first home loss since 2007.
Cohen was scoreless in the first quarter as Goose Creek jumped out to a 9-6 lead. The Gators led 21-19 at halftime, but West Ashley made some adjustments at intermission and built a 33-27 lead after three stops. The Gators threatened, but Cohen came through in the final eight minutes, hitting all five of her free-throw attempts.
“This a huge relief,” West Ashley coach Maria Williams said. “This was a huge monkey off our back because we had been carrying some weight — and pressure — around. It’s been a long time since we beat a good Goose Creek team, and winning on their court makes it even more special.”
Williams stressed Cohen would need help, and the Wildcats provided support. Jue McLemore stepped up with 10 points.
Williams says she never knows about Cohen’s numbers until after the game when she checks out the scorebook.
“Twenty points and 20 rebounds, that’s Dekeiya,” Williams said. “We knew they would try to key on her. We knew her points and rebounds could be limited. But she does what Dekeiya does best and that’s playing with passion.’
Ashley Fields also played a complete game. She was the only Gator in double figures with 18 points.
West Ashley (48): Wesoliek 4, Cohen 20, Stokes 12, Mclemole 8, Hardaway 4.
Goose Creek (40): Frasier 2, Ludwig 3, Ashley Fields 18, Broughton 2, Pringle 2, Jones 9, Joy 4.
West Ashley 6 13 14 15—48
Goose Creek 9 12 6 13—40
Records: West Ashley 13-1; Goose Creek 11-6. Next: Goose Creek at Wando Tuesday.