OSU recruit Ahrens’ 26 carries Versailles over Tri-Village at Flyin’

Versailles’ Justin Ahrens (with ball) had 26 points and Trace Couch (15) 24 to lead Tri-Village. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

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Versailles’ Justin Ahrens (with ball) had 26 points and Trace Couch (15) 24 to lead Tri-Village. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Ohio State University commit and Versailles High School junior Justin Ahrens had 26 points and nine rebounds in a 61-56 defeat of Tri-Village to open Day 4 of the Premier Health Flyin’ to the Hoop at Trent Arena on Monday.

It was a high-end matchup of the best of the Midwest Athletic Conference (Tigers) and the Cross County Conference (Patriots). Keaton McEldowney added 13 points for Versailles (12-1).

Seniors Trace Couch (24 points) and Gavin Richards (19) led the Patriots (6-5), who are at full strength following multiple player four-game suspensions for hazing.

Both teams are capable of making deep postseason runs. Versailles was No. 5 in Monday’s D-III state poll and lost only at Dunbar. Tri-Village has been to the D-IV final four twice in the previous three seasons and won a state title in 2015. The Patriots were 4-0 and handed Southeastern (10-1) its only loss, then lost four straight games during the suspensions.