HARRISON, Ohio - The Lakota West girls’ basketball team savors every moment of the postseason.
Each day is a gift, coach Andy Fishman likes to say.
The Firebirds wrapped up another trip to the Sweet 16 on Saturday afternoon with 68-54 win over Tecumseh in a Division I district final.
“We knew it would be a game of some peaks and valleys,” Lakota West coach Andy Fishman said. “And we felt ultimately that our style of play would wear them down.”
Lakota West forced 29 turnovers on the afternoon. The Firebirds rallied after a tough first quarter and took control midway through the second quarter.
Lakota West (25-1), the reigning Division I state champion, led 35-25 at halftime.
Lakota West senior guard Nia Staples (West Virginia signee) had 22 points, five rebounds and two steals. Lakota West senior guard Danielle Wells (Indiana University East signee) had 21 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Sophomore guard/forward Abby Prohaska added 12 points, seven rebounds, five steals and two assists.
It is the third consecutive district title for Lakota West. The Firebirds advance to play Springboro (23-3) at 6:15 p.m. March 2 in a regional semifinal at Kettering Fairmont.
“No matter who we play it’s not a guarantee,” Staples said. “That’s our motto. We just got to keep playing like its our last game. We have to keep working harder.
Fishman told his team afterward to be ready for practice Sunday afternoon, to hydrate and get a good meal. And he emphasized his team celebrate the district title.
“These things don’t grow on trees,” Fishman said. “We can’t take this for granted. This is a big deal and we got to really embrace this feeling.”
Saturday was the first-ever meeting between Lakota West and Tecumseh. It is the first time the Firebirds have won three consecutive district titles since they won four consecutive from 2006 to the 2009 seasons.
Tecumseh (22-4) – Smith 2 0 5, L. Nartker 11 5 27, Thomas 3 0 8, Franklin 4 0 10, Griffitts 2 0 4. Totals: 22 5 54.
Lakota West (25-1) – Wells 6 4 21, Staples 8 0 22, Jones 1 0 2, Wasan 2 0 6, Prohaska 6 0 12, Henderson 1 0 2, Oxley 0 1 1, Haar 1 0 2. Totals: 25 17 68