DARKE COUNTY – Both of this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week have provided their teams with strong leadership throughout the season and their careers.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Arcanum girls basketball player Abbey O’Donnell and Tri-Village boys basketball player Kyle Pipenger.
Pipenger, who leads all Darke County basketball players with 21 points a game this season, has continued to be a strong presence for Tri-Village. He also is among the county’s best with 4.7 rebounds per game and 4.0 assists per game.
Pipenger reached a milestone last week in the championship game of the Jet Holiday Tournament as he scored his 1,000th career point. He scored 47 points in the two games of the tournament and was named the MVP as the Patriots won the championship.
“There isn’t a player around that I would want to have the ball in their hands when the game is on the line,” Tri-Village boys basketball coach Josh Sagester said. “When the game gets tough and other guys shut down, Kyle steps up to another level and just makes plays; he is as good as you will find in those situations. I can’t think of a better way for him to achieve this historic milestone than how he did it tonight. He willed this team to the Jet Tournament title with 11 points down the stretch including his 1,000th point.”
O’Donnell leads Arcanum is both scoring and rebounding as a junior with 12.9 points per game and 8.1 rebounds per game. She also is in the top five in Darke County in both of those categories.
Prior to the start of the season Arcanum girls basketball coach Rachel Fearon said O’Donnell, who has the most playing experience among the Lady Trojans players, would be the team’s leader, and she reiterated that this week.
“Abbey is such a leader on the floor for us,” Fearon said. “She does so many things out there on the floor and just leads the team, and I don’t think she understands how huge that is for us. But it is. She carries us.”