Lakota West basketball standout Abby Prohaska thankful to play in March

WEST CHESTER TOWNSHIP, Ohio -- Melissa Prohaska admits she gets worried sometimes watching her daughter on the basketball court.

“Well, she goes about 100 miles an hour,” Melissa said.

Yes, that’s how Lakota West junior guard/forward Abby Prohaska rolls.

A physical, tough-minded player, Prohaska often plays with effort that’s difficult to match in Ohio high school girls’ basketball.

She takes charges. She dives for loose balls. She gets after it defensively.

So when Abby missed two sectional tournament games due to an ankle injury in the third quarter against visiting Middletown Feb. 11, she was the team’s cheerleader on the bench.

It was unfamiliar territory and she couldn’t wait to get back on the court.

Abby, a Notre Dame verbal commit, admits she was stressed about missing a few games. Thankfully, it wasn’t a major injury.

“It was pretty bad, but she is a fighter,” Lakota West coach Andy Fishman said. “She was just steadfast in her rehab.”

When the Firebirds defeated Kings 62-36 in the Division I sectional final Feb. 24 at Sycamore, Prohaska, a starter on the 2015 state championship team, emerged from the locker room with a smile.

“Abby plays with the speed and an intensity that is superior to the average high school athlete,” Fishman said.

“So we have to be able to make some adjustments as a team to having her back and match it. She throws passes sometimes that I expect other kids to catch it and they need practice in catching it. So that’s why it’s so important to have her back.”

Prohaska had 11 points and six rebounds to help lead Lakota West in the sectional final.

“It was a good game to get back on track,” she said.

The Firebirds (23-2) make their fourth consecutive Division I district final appearance Saturday when they play Beavercreek (17-8) at 5 p.m. at Princeton.

Measuring Prohaska’s impact is not difficult. She played on the USA Basketball Under-17 bronze medal team last summer. She is a three-year letter-winner for Lakota West. The Firebirds are 20-2 in the regular season with her.

But Abby is the first to admit it’s her team that earns everything.

Junior guard Sarah Jones had 21 points and 15 rebounds against Kings -- her first career double-double. Freshman forward Nevaeh Dean matched a season-high with 13 points in the sectional final.

Abby is looking forward to playing in her third consecutive district final.

“It’s been a rough three weeks for her,” Melissa said. “I am just happy she is healed and it wasn’t as bad as it could’ve been and she is playing again.”

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