MOUNT PLEASANT -- The halftime score of Friday night's West Ashley-Wando girls basketball game was Dekeiya Cohen 22, Wando 14.
The West Ashley sophomore was sensational in the battle for second place in Region 7-AAAA. Cohen finished with 35 points as the Wildcats cruised to a 75-43 victory.
Cohen was motivated by a three-point loss to the Warriors two weeks ago. "I just wanted to win," said Cohen, who went over the 1,000-point mark for her career earlier this season. "I wanted to win so bad because Wando is a big archrival."
West Ashley improved to 15-3, 3-2 in the region. Wando fell to 10-9, 3-2. Goose Creek is in first place in the region with no losses. West Ashley will travel to Goose Creek next weekend.
The victory was important because the Wildcats want to have a home playoff game. To do that, they must finish either first or second in the region.
Cohen hit 13 of 21 from the field, had 17 rebounds, blocked five shots and came up with three steals."I never had a first half like that. I just wanted to win tonight. I didn't want to force shots or make stupid mistakes. I felt I played good, all night."
Coach Maria Williams said Cohen was focused in practice. "She wanted this game, but I had no idea she scored that many points. That's a career high for her. I talked to her about the importance of this game and what it means to our playoff chances. We knew we needed this to prepare for Goose Creek. Maybe we can sneak one by them.""
The Wildcats had ball-handling issues in the loss to Wando, but that wasn't an issue with a healthy Allante McClary, who did a good job of directing the offense. Keosha Hardaway added 19 points, on 6-of-11 shooting, and had three steals.
Wando starts only one senior, Tinsley Hallman, and is talented if not experienced. The starting lineup includes three juniors and a freshman: Alley Stasky.
West Ashley (75): Dekeiya Cohen 35, Keosha Hardaway 19, Wesolek 7, Walker 4, Stokes 4, McClary 4, Sanderson 2.
Wando (43): Kearston Duvernay 15, Torlay 7, Hallman 7, Akers 6, Smalls 5, Stasky 2, Nagumo 1.
Records: WA 15-3, 3-2; Wando 10-9, 3-2. Next: WA hosts James Island Tuesday; Wando at Stratford Tuesday.