DARKE COUNTY – Athletes who helped lead their teams to championship this past week are this week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week.
This week’s Daily Advocate athletes of the week are Tri-Village boys basketball player Tyler VanWinkle and Versailles girls swimmer Ashlyn Cordonnier.
For a second consecutive season VanWinkle led Tri-Village the championship in the Patriot Holiday Classic and earned MVP honors for the tournament.
The Tri-Village senior scored 41 points and dished out 19 assists in two tournament games against Jefferson and Eaton. He scored 21 points in the championship victory against Eaton on Tuesday.
“He had another really good final,” Tri-Village coach Josh Sagester said. “He did a really nice job of basically setting the tone from beginning to end with his defensive prowess and offensively making shots and making others better by finding them.”
For the season VanWinkle is one of the top 10 scorers in Darke County with 14.0 points per game. He leads all players in the county with 5.5 assists per game.
“He’s had a really good start to his senior year,” Sagester said. “He’s definitely our catalyst. He’s been a really good leader for us on and off the court. He’s doing everything for us that we need to win basketball games.”
VanWinkle has been a key player for the Patriots for years as their point guard, including last season’s state championship team. This year he’s taken on a larger role as a scorer in addition to being a top distributor.
“We always knew that he could score and make shots,” Sagester said. “He’s done a nice job of balancing the two, of scoring and disturbing. It’s been an additional role on top of him.”
In addition to being a strong scorer and distributor, VanWinkle also has excelled in rebounding and playing defense as he sets the pace for the rest of his teammates.
“We ask him to do an awful lot,” Sagester said. “He’s been able to rise to the occasion.”
Cordonnier helped lead the Versailles girls swim team to a fourth consecutive championship at the 15-team Lima Holiday Invitational.
At the invitational Cordonnier won the 200 yard individual medley in a time of 2:25.54. She finished second in the 100 yard breaststroke with a time of 1:14.41, was part of the second place 200 yard freestyle relay team and swam the butterfly leg for the third place 200 yard medley relay team.
“Ashlyn, a senior, is an integral part of the Versailles High School girls swim team,” Versailles swim coach Penny Cromwell said. “She has been on state qualifying relays since her freshman year and hopes to not only get to state on relays again this year but would like to qualify in an individual event as well.”
This season Cordonnier has the fastest time among all Darke County girls in the 100 breaststroke with a time of 1:14.41. She has the second best time in the 100 butterfly, the third best time in the 50 freestyle and the third best time in the 100 freestyle.
“She has the drive and determination to achieve her goals,” Cromwell said. “Her times are right where we want them at this point in the season.”
Cordonnier is a three-time state qualifier and is looking to make it back to state for a fourth time this season.
“In addition, you can find Ashlyn cheering on her teammates when she is not swimming,” Cromwell said. “She is devoted to the sport of swimming, and it shows through her achievements.”
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.