DARKE COUNTY – The boys and girls basketball teams from Tri-Village and Versailles both are state ranked this season, thanks in part to some talented players on their rosters.
Among this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are a boys basketball player from Versailles and a girls basketball player from Tri-Village.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Versailles boys basketball player Chad Winner and Tri-Village girls basketball player Krystal Falknor.
Winner is among the top five scorers in Darke County boys basketball this season, averaging 17.25 points per game. He’s also among the county’s best with 4.0 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game.
“Just a complete player as far as rebounding and defense to go along with great offensive skills and scoring,” Versailles boys basketball coach Scott McEldowney said.
At 6 foot 4 inches tall, Winner has the size to play inside but also has the talent to play outside, shooting a team-best 40 percent from behind the 3-point arc this season.
Winner’s versatility makes him a tough match up for opposing defenses, McEldowney said.
“He’s really mixed up his game well this year,” McEldowney said. “He’s such a dual threat, both off the dribble and shooting the 3-point shot from long range. He’s also one of our best defensive players.”
Even though he’s always been a quiet kid, McEldowney said, Winner has become more vocal as a senior and taken on more leadership to go along with his great work ethic, which has been a big help for the state-ranked Tigers.
“One of the hardest workers I’ve ever had,” McEldowney said.
Winner, who was first team all-Midwest Athletic Conference last season, already has a lot of Division III colleges interested in him for basketball and now has Division II teams also pursuing him, McEldowney said.
“I think people are just starting to find out more and more about him,” the coach said.
Falknor has stepped up for the Tri-Village girls basketball team, becoming a more complete player as a junior.
“Krystal has really stepped up this year, especially over the last three games,” Tri-Village girls basketball coach Brad Gray said. “She has been playing with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. As a result, I think our team is playing some very good basketball.”
Falknor is one of Darke County’s top five rebounders with 7.9 per game, which is best on her team, and one of the top 10 scorers in the county with 11.1 points per game.
“She has always been a good scorer, but now she is playing great defense and rebounding well, which is what we really need out of her,” Gray said.
Falknor was a starter on last year’s state-qualifying Tri-Village team and has helped the Lady Patriots remain in the state rankings again this year.
“It seems the other players have been feeding off of her effort level,” Gray said. “I think we will go as she goes all season.”