Roundball, Wild Cards, and Who Dey?

Shots in the Darke

It’s good to be a Versailles Tiger fan these days! Coming off of a state championship in
football, the orange and black boys basketball team is ranked number one in this week’s state
D-III AP poll, Travis Swank’s crew defeating St. Henry Friday night and then crushing Greenville
Saturday.

In addition, 2020 VHS graduate Michael Stammen scored 27 points for Bluffton University in a win over Franklin last week. Whatever is in the water in northeast Darke County is obviously working!

While we’re on the subject of high school boys basketball I had the opportunity to attend the Mississinawa Valley-Bradford game Friday. If you’re a fan of high scoring basketball games you would have loved this contest as the ‘Roaders held on for an 89-80 win.

Bradford has a promising young team, starting a freshman, two sophomores, and two juniors, one of whom, Parker Davidson, recorded his 1,000 career point on his way to a 27 point effort. MV countered with juniors Matt Pisano and Drew Anguiano who combined for 47 points as the Blackhawks came up short in a fourth quarter comeback.

The Tri-Village Patriots boys fell in double-overtime to last year’s defending D-IV state champs, the Botkins Trojans in the Flyin’ To The Hoop extravaganza. The Trojans are once again ranked number one in the state while T-V occupies the fifth spot. Look for the possibility of a rematch in the regional finals, something which fans of both teams would love to see!

On the girls side the Lady Pats of T-V enhanced their state ranking by destroying the D-I fourth ranked Bellbrook Lady Eagles 67-37 in action at Fairmont’s Trent Arena. Dominating pressure defense and three-point shooting sparked the unexpected rout.

Meanwhile, Arcanum’s Lady Trojans continue to roll along at 14-1 after plastering Versailles 54-16. When Taylor Gray (who also recorded over 1,000 kills during her volleyball career) soon scores her 1,000th point she’ll join fellow classmates Hailey Unger and Maddie Fearon as a member of that exclusive club!!

If you haven’t had the chance to patronize Matt Delaplane’s new vodka bar Alchemy, view the Talk of the Town interview here at DarkeCountyNow.com. The Greenville native has created quite an impressive establishment!

How about a quick review of the NFL’s Super Wild Card Weekend?

Bengals-Raiders — Joe Burrow, Ja’Marr Chase, and the defense allow the Stripes to record
their first playoff win in 31 years. On to Tennessee!

Bills-Patriots —Bill Belichick had no answer for Bills’ QB Josh Allen on a sub-zero evening.

Bucs-Eagles — Defending champs outclassed the pretenders from Philly.

49ers-Cowboys — Dallas owner Jerry Jones seen crying in his luxury suite, couldn’t happen to a better guy. Questionable last play call and terrible time management to go along with way too many penalties!

Chiefs-Steelers — not the way Big Ben wanted to wrap up a Hall of Fame career but Steelers were in over their heads.

Rams-Cards — LA finally starting to live up to preseason hype? Kyler Murray with just an atrocious first half as Rams move on to Tampa.

Finally, check out this week’s Talk of the Town interview with well-known Darke Countian Dave Gray. Dave, in addition to leading a great Arcanum Trojans team to a state basketball championship in 1969 (scoring 45 points in the state semifinal against Portsmouth Clay) also
holds Earlham College career records in scoring and rebounding. A long-time superintendent at Franklin-Monroe and Ohio High School Athletic Association director, he’s an interesting person who makes you feel better just being around him!

Until next time, stay warm, healthy, and active—let’s go Bengals!!

Dr. Alex Warner | Correspondent for Darke County Now

Dr. Alex Warner / Correspondent

Alex Warner is a retired Greenville chiropractor as well as a former educator and high school coach. He has over 30 years experience in broadcasting high school sports on both radio and public access television in addition to producing over 50 episodes of the local television series “Our Town”. A man of many interests, he is naturally curious with a “gift of gab”. He currently writes the weekly sports column “Shots in the Darke” and hosts “Talk of the Town” featuring people, places, and events that make Darke County the place we choose to reside.

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