Prep girls basketball: Prohaska keys Firebirds in rout of Beavercreek

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Prep girls basketball: Prohaska keys Firebirds in rout of Beavercreek

Lakota West High School’s girls basketball team found motivation from multiple sources Sunday night. All of it proved to be beneficial.

University of Notre Dame signee Abby Prohaska put up a double-double as the host Firebirds closed the two-day Journey to the Tourney showcase event by overwhelming Beavercreek 54-28.

“Our girls rose to the challenge,” West coach Andy Fishman said. “I felt from the first few possessions that we were ready to play. We were ready to do the little things, and the little things take care of the big things. We showed a lot of discipline. Defensively, we were able to keep the ball in front of us.”

GIRLS BASKETBALL SEASON PREVIEWS

The Firebirds began their season Saturday night with a 55-40 Journey loss to Hamilton Heights Christian Academy from Chattanooga (Tenn.) — the No. 5 team in the nation, according to USA Today.

Sunday was the season opener for Beavercreek, which ended the 2016-17 campaign with a 53-50 defeat at the hands of West in a Division I district final.

“This was our game plan for last year in the district final, and we failed to execute it,” Fishman said. “We got outplayed by Beavercreek for most of the game, and we were blessed to come away with the victory because some girls stepped up at critical times and made plays.

“Tonight, I thought our effort was very, very consistent, and when I say our effort, I’m not just talking about our effort of energy. I’m talking about our effort of execution. We were dialed in tonight with great purpose. I think Beavercreek’s success against us last year was a motivating factor, and I also think last night’s negative outcome was a motivating factor. I loved the way our girls responded.”

Beavercreek took a 3-0 lead on Lexi Moore’s trey in the opening 13 seconds, then watched the Firebirds run off 10 straight points. Six came on consecutive 3-pointers by Madisyn Oxley.

The Beavers struggled against West’s quickness and physicality, committing 13 of their 22 turnovers in the first half. The score was 33-15 at the break.

“We prepared well for this game, so it definitely showed on the court,” Prohaska said. “I think we played together as a team, and we made the extra pass.”

Prohaska tallied 18 points, 10 rebounds, five steals, three assists, one block and zero turnovers. Sixteen of those points came in a next-level second quarter for the 5-foot-10 senior guard/forward, who stroked four 3-pointers.

GIRLS BASKETBALL SEASON PREVIEWS

“I kind of got in the groove, and my teammates were unselfish and kind of found me,” Prohaska said. “All the props to them.”

Said Fishman, “We have this philosophy called ‘feed the bear.’ If a kid’s hot, we want to continue to get her the ball. All of her shots were good decisions. They were in rhythm. Abby certainly accentuated or flaunted her specialness.”

Beavercreek coach Ed Zink wasn’t necessarily surprised when Prohaska erupted.

“I’m sure she missed a shot in that second quarter, but I don’t remember it,” Zink said. “She just lit us up again. Last year in the tournament game we were up eight going to the fourth quarter, and she just took over.”

Lakota West’s Madisyn Oxley guards Bailey Draughn of Beavercreek on Sunday night during the Journey to the Tourney at West. The host Firebirds won 54-28. RICK CASSANO/STAFF

Oxley and Jasmine Ballew both scored eight points for the Firebirds, who had 17 turnovers and 38.2-percent shooting. Nevaeh Dean contributed six points and seven rebounds.

“I thought our ball movement was excellent to start the game,” Fishman said. “There wasn’t a lot of solo heroicism. There was a lot of synergy and a lot of passes that led to good passes.”

Michaela Rhoades’ seven points paced the Beavers. Their shooting wasn’t very good across the board — 26.2 percent from the field, 18.2 percent from beyond the arc and 40 percent from the foul line.

“We got our butts kicked,” Zink said. “I think it was obviously to their advantage to have played a game last night. They were just so much more aggressive and physical than we were. We’ve got a lot of seniors who’ve played a lot of basketball, and I thought we’d give a better showing. It just shows you that we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

GIRLS BASKETBALL SEASON PREVIEWS

Fishman believes Beavercreek will be one of the top teams in Southwest Ohio this season.

“Ed Zink is one of the top coaches in the history of girls basketball,” he said. “His teams are always ready come tournament time.”

The Firebirds are playing without junior guard Bryana Henderson, a returning starter who’s battling an ankle injury. Fishman doesn’t know when she’ll be back in action.

West begins Greater Miami Conference play at home against Oak Hills on Wednesday. The Beavers have a quick turnaround and will host McAuley on Monday.

Beavercreek 5-10-6-7—28

Lakota West 12-21-13-8—54

BEAVERCREEK (0-1): Bailey Draughn 2 1 5, Lexi Moore 2 1 6, Haley Hutchins 2 0 4, Michaela Rhoades 3 0 7, Anna Landing 1 2 4, Kirsten Williams 1 0 2. Totals: 11-4-28

LAKOTA WEST (1-1): Madisyn Oxley 3 0 8, Sarah Jones 1 2 4, Jasmine Ballew 3 1 8, Nevaeh Dean 3 0 6, Abby Prohaska 7 0 18, Jaydis Gales 2 0 4, Stella Lukusa 1 0 2, Kailyn Dudukovich 1 2 4. Totals: 21-5-54

3-pointers: B 2 (Rhoades, Moore), L 7 (Prohaska 4, Oxley 2, Ballew)

Beavercreek coach Ed Zink watches his squad during a 54-28 loss to host Lakota West in the Journey to the Tourney on Sunday night. RICK CASSANO/STAFF
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