DARKE COUNTY – A pair of basketball players who have put up big offensive numbers are this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Ansonia boys basketball player Aydan Sanders and Franklin Monroe girls basketball player Corina Conley.
Sanders has helped Ansonia get off to a strong 3-1 start by scoring 20 or more points in each of the Tigers’ victories. He scored 23 points against Newton, 21 against Mechanicsburg and 22 against Bradford.
In the victory against Bradford, the Ansonia junior scored 20 points in the second half alone to help the Tigers hold off a late charge by the Railroaders.
“He worked so hard in the offseason,” Ansonia boys basketball coach Chad Cramer said. “This is three straight games of over 20 points for him. That’s a guy that averaged like four last year. That’s a big turnover, and he gets a lot of credit for his hard work.”
Sanders also had six assists in the victory against Mechanicsburg.
“Aydan had a strong weekend for us both offensively and defensively,” Cramer said. “His hard work in the offseason is really paying off so far this season. Aydan works hard every day, and it is good to see a player get rewarded for his work ethic.”
Conley is the only Darke County basketball player averaging a double-double this season as she has 14.2 points and 11.2 rebounds per game.
“Corina has really stepped it up this year,” Franklin Monroe girls basketball coach Abbey Moore said. “I’ve been really impressed with her leadership skills on and off the court and just what she’s been able to accomplish on the floor this year.”
Conley leads all Darke County players in rebounding and is third among girls in scoring. She also averages 2.2 assists and 2.8 steals per game while shooting 55 percent from the field.
“I really attribute that to her hard work and her work ethic along with her teammates,” Moore said. “I think she has a great supporting cast surrounding her on the floor. They do a really good job of getting her the ball.”
This past week Conley scored 14 points against Bethel, 17 against Dixie and 19 against Ansonia. She’s played so well even though she’s only a freshman.
“I think it just shows the kind of kid she is,” Moore said. “She’s a hard worker. She overcomes adversity. I’ve seen where on the floor something might go wrong and she keeps her head up and gets it back on the next play. I think that says a lot about who she is. She also excels in the classroom and is just an all-around great kid.”
Moore only expects Conley to continue to get better as the season progresses.
“I’ve seen a lot of progress from the beginning of the season,” the FM coach said. “I see her progressing every day in practice, and I think that will continue every day throughout the year.”
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.