DARKE COUNTY – Two Greenville basketball players who both provide a strong inside presence for their teams are this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Greenville boys basketball player Aaron Rich and Greenville girls basketball player Cassie Cromwell.
Among Darke County boys Rich is one of the top five rebounders with 7.5 boards a game. He’s also in the top 10 in scoring with 16.2 points a game.
“He’s been huge for us all year,” Greenville boys basketball coach Kyle Joseph said. “And not just his play in the game. He’s someone who brings in practice every day and helps us get better every day.”
Rich played extremely well in each of the Green Wave’s last three wins, recording 18 points and nine rebounds against Fort Recovery, 13 points against Vandalia-Butler and 16 points against Troy. In the game against Fort Recovery he made 75 percent of his shots.
“He’s not someone who takes a lot of bad shots,” Joseph said. “He lets the game come to him.”
Rich always is available for his teammates to throw the ball to on the block or drop it to when they drive. He helps initiate the offense, Joseph said, and consistently gets the job done.
“He’s a quiet kid, but I don’t ever have to get on him for effort,” Joseph said. “He goes about his business and gets his work done.”
Cromwell leads the Greenville girls with 9.8 points per game and 6.1 rebounds per game. She’s one of the top 10 rebounders among Darke County girls and also is one of the area’s top scorers.
“Cassie has been playing so much better. She’s under control. She’s slowing down,” Greenville girls basketball coach Rachel Kerns said. “She’s definitely a big reason that our program is going in the direction its’ going.”
Cromwell is a strong inside player for the Lady Wave even though she’s often smaller than her opponents.
“Most of the time she’s undersized,” Kerns said. “A lot of times I think we forget that.”
After winning just three games during her first two years of high school basketball, Cromwell has helped Greenville improve mightily this season. The Lady Wave have won nine games, and the junior has been a big part of that success.
“She’s really bought in and done the things we’ve asked her to do,” Kerns said. “She’s definitely on everybody else’s scouting report now.”
Cromwell had 9 points and nine rebounds in a win against Piqua on Wednesday. Against Tippecanoe, who was ranked seventh in the state by the Associated Press, she had 8 points and helped keep the Wave in the game.
“She kind of set the tone for the game,” Kerns said.
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.