DARKE COUNTY – Two of the region’s best scorers have been named The Daily Advocate’s basketball players of the year.
Greenville senior Clay Guillozet has been named The Daily Advocate’s boys basketball player of the year, and Tri-Village junior Allie Downing has been named The Daily Advocate’s girls basketball player of the year.
Guillozet led all Darke County basketball players with 23.6 points per game during his senior season even though he battled through injuries. He also finished his career as Greenville’s all-time leading scorer.
“Going into a lot of games he’s the guy a lot of teams will be focusing on, and he’ll still put up 23 points a game,” Greenville boys basketball coach Mike Bashore said. “He’s a nightmare for other teams to guard, and he’s done that consistently throughout high school.”
The Greenville senior, who was a four-year varsity letter winner, could knock down 3-pointers or attack the rim and score inside.
“He can score in a variety of ways,” Bashore said. “He’s not just a jump shooter. He gets the ball to the basket as well as anybody around here.
“He’s gotten smarter every year. When someone takes something away from him, he’s found other ways to score.”
Guillozet led the Greater Western Ohio Conference in scoring in each of the past two seasons. He was named the first team all-GWOC and the GWOC North boys basketball player of the year both years. He also garnered honorable mention all-Ohio honors this season.
“He’s a model of what hard work in the offseason does for you,” Bashore said. “The kid works hard year round.”
In addition to being an extraordinary scorer, Guillozet also averaged 6.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game. He’s a three-time team captain and rarely ever came off the court.
“His worth ethic is incredible,” Bashore said.
Guillozet, who will play in the Ohio North-South All-Star Game, has been a great role model throughout his high school career.
“The kids look up to him. They respect him because of his ability and his worth ethic as well,” Bashore said. “He’s a great kid in the classroom as well. He’s someone that people in the future can model themselves after.”
Like Guillozet, Downing is a matchup nightmare for opposing teams. At 5 feet 10 inches, she can play inside or outside.
“That is why she’s so good, because of her versatility,” Tri-Village girls basketball coach Brad Gray said. “She’s a special player. We can have her be a point guard for us if we need to. We can have her play in the post if we need her to. She can defend all five spots on the floor. She shoots it very well, but she’s very good at getting her teammates involved as well. Sees the floor extremely well. Really a complete player.”
Downing’s versatility is the reason why she has been so successful throughout her high school career and why she is closing in on 1,000 career points.
“The way she can score from all over is why she’s able to score it so well,” Gray said. “The mismatches that she creates … if you’re guarding her with a post player we’re able to move her out on the perimeter and have her blow by that person off the dribble if she needs to or she can just shoot over those kids because they don’t want to step all the way out there and guard because they’re uncomfortable with doing that when they’re a post player. But if they try to guard her with a guard then we do put her on the block and make them try to guard her size on the block with a small kid.”
Downing led all Darke County girls with 19.5 points per game this past season. She also was second in the county with 8.6 rebounds a game and had 2.7 assists a game.
“She’s a stat-sheet stuffer,” Gray said.
Downing helped lead the Lady Patriots to the Cross County Conference championship with a perfect 12-0 conference record. For her efforts she was named the CCC girls basketball player of the year and first team all-Ohio.
“To be honest I thought she led us to a surprising year,” Gray said. “We kind of surpassed what my expectations were going into the year. I think a lot of that can be attributed to her leadership.”
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.