DARKE COUNTY – As the season progresses, Darke County teams are seeing their athletes continue to improve.
Both of this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week have continued to get strong throughout the winter sports season.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Bradford girls basketball player Brooke Dunlevy and Versailles boys swimmer Mitchell Stover.
Dunlevy has come on strong for Bradford recently, averaging double-digit scoring and nine rebounds in the three games from Dec. 17-22. Against Arcanum, Twin Valley South and St. Henry, Dunlevy scored in double digits each time with a high of 15 points against Arcanum. She also pulled down 27 rebounds in that span with 13 against St. Henry. Against St. Henry, she had a double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds.
“The last couple games she’s really come on for us, doing more than just one thing,” Bradford girls basketball coach Patrick McKee said.
For the season, Dunlevy leads Bradford with 10 points a game and is third with 5.7 rebounds per game. Both marks put her among the best in Darke County. The junior also is averaging 1.4 steals per game.
“It’s good to see her do some things like that to help the team out, not just scoring but in other ways,” McKee said.
Dunlevy started out the season battling illness, McKee said, but has since played very well – scoring in double digits in five of her past seven games with a season high of 19 points against Xenia Christian.
“Once she got that taken care of, she started to take off,” McKee said. “She’s really starting to become an all-around better basketball player.”
Stover also continues to get better, having broken five school records this season. Stover broke the 50 freestyle and 100 butterfly school records against Celina to go along with his new records in the 100 freestyle, 50 backstroke and 100 backstroke.
“Every time I turn around he’s beating his own records,” Versailles swim coach Penny Cromwell said. “He just glides through the water.”
Stover, who advanced to the Ohio High School Athletic Association state swim meet last year, has grown a couple inches, which seems to have made him even better, Cromwell said.
“He’s just getting faster and faster,” she said. “I just don’t know where he’s going to stop because he just keeps getting better and better.”
Stover can swim any stroke and any distance, Cromwell said. When she asked him at the beginning of the season which stroke he liked the most, he said all of them.
“It doesn’t matter what I put him in, he just goes to town,” she said. “He can swim anything that I put him in.”
Stover also is an extremely hard worker, even though he makes it look effortless, Cromwell said.
“It’s awesome,” she said. “To watch him swim, it looks like there’s nothing to it. He just makes it look so easy. It’s just fun to watch him swim.”