DARKE COUNTY – Well-rounded players who can score, rebound and distribute the basketball have helped Tri-Village and Versailles be recognized among the best teams in the state this season.
Two of those players – Tri-Village girls basketball player Teha Richards and Versailles boys basketball player Kyle Ahrens – have helped their teams become some of the best in the state and now are being recognized as The Daily Advocate’s athletes of the week.
Richards has elevated her scoring this season, going from 9.8 points a game as a junior to 15.7 points a game as a senior. This season she leads Tri-Village in scoring and is second in Darke County.
“She’s had a great year for us,” Tri-Village girls basketball coach Brad Gray said. “I think she’s really stepped up her scoring production.”
Richards also is second in the county in assists with 3.4 per game, which is only topped by teammate Shaye Thomas.
Having Richards and Thomas, both four-year varsity players at guard, is extremely valuable, Gray said.
“To have that kind of veteran playing that position for us, it’s something you can’t really put a value on,” he said.
Against Dixie Richards scored 20 points and also had 13 steals, which was one off the Lady Patriot single-game record.
“Defensively she just set the tone for us, getting those steals and leading to easy buckets for us,” Gray said.
Generally Richards is matched up against the opponents’ top ball handlers, Gray said.
“Defensively she’s always been a tremendous player for us, always made a good effort of taking the other teams’ better scorers out of the game,” he said.
Ahrens is just a sophomore, but he’s already getting lots of attention from college teams, Versailles boys basketball coach Scott McEldowney said.
Ahrens has got attention in part because of his 20.7 points per game, 6.8 rebounds per game and 3.1 assists per game, all which lead Versailles. He also is Darke County’s leading scorer and among the top 10 in rebounding and assists.
“He’s doing a great job,” McEldowney said. “He’s a threat from anywhere on the court with being able to shoot the long three and get to the basket and distribute the ball.”
McEldowney said Ahrens’ abilities are a product of all the time and hard work he puts into his game.
“It’s just part of his dedication to the game,” McEldowney said. “He’s really made himself into the player he is.
“He’s only going to get better and better. He spends so much time working on his game.”