Faulkner, Robins make strong case for Mercer County awards sweep

Published 11:45 pm Thursday, February 1, 2018


HARRODSBURG — Can Mercer County pull off a Miss Basketball-Mr. Basketball sweep?

Coaches Chris Souder and Josh Hamlin says yes, but both are more than just a bit biased when it comes to seniors Seygan Robins and Trevon Faulkner, respectively.

Email newsletter signup

“I don’t know what else a kid has to do to prove he’s the best player in the state,” Hamlin said about Faulkner, a Northern Kentucky University signee. “I know people have opinions, and that’s fine, but I have my opinion and he’s the best player in the state.”

Numbers help make that case. Faulkner, an all-state football player, is averaging 26 points and 9 rebounds per game, both team highs. He’s shooting 52 percent overall from the field and 84 percent at the foul line — and he’s been to the foul line almost 200 times in 22 games. He’s also improved his 3-point shooting to where he’s at 33 percent.

After scoring 32 points and grabbing nine rebounds in Tuesday’s 86-84 win at Pulaski County, he has 1,001 rebounds in his five-year varsity career and  2,784 points. He could become only the seventh Kentucky high school player to have 3,000 points and 1,000 rebounds if he maintains his scoring pace. Mercer has seven regular-season games left plus postseason play.

“He gets so much attention from every single coach and every single player every game,” Hamlin said. “Everybody matches up on him. He never gets too high or low, though. He never takes too many shots and tries to get his teammates involved. But when the moment needs to get captured, he goes and captures it.”

Souder could say the same about Robins, a guard headed for the University of Louisville. Despite the shocking 35-point loss to Sacred Heart that the defending state champion Titans suffered last weekend to end a 27-game winning streak against in-state teams, Robins’ numbers are incredible.

She has 2,484 career points and is a 45 percent shooter from the field in her career. She has 757 assists, 528 steals, 416 rebounds and 286 3-pointers. In the last five years the Titans are 141-25, including two season with 31 wins. This year Mercer is 22-3  — the other two losses were to out of state teams ranked in the top 10 nationally.

Robins was named MVP of the Naples Holiday Shootout in Florida after leading her team to the title. She was named the top offensive player in the LIT.

Robins is averaging 14.5 points per game and shooting 43 percent overall from the field and 31 percent from 3-point range. All those numbers are down slightly from last year but Souder says two things are responsible — she’s unselfish and she’s worked on making changes to her shot that Louisville coaches wanted her to do.

Souder says if her lack of scoring this year impacts the Miss Basketball voting, he’ll be disappointed but it won’t bother Robins.

“She is going to do what is best for the team. She has won a state championship, leads our team in a lot of categories and is the hardest worker on our team,” Souder said. “She could get 35 a game and we could beat some bad teams by a lot. But that’s not what we are about and is not our goal or her goal. I think people who watch Seygan know what kind of player she is.

“In tough games, she goes into another gear for us. She’s not afraid to guard the other team’s best player, either.”

There certainly are other worthy Mr. Basketball and Miss Basketball candidates. Yet Hamlin, an assistant coach with the Mercer girls last season when the Titans won the school’s first state title, says the Mercer duo ranks as the best of the best.

“There is not a kid I associate as being more valuable to a team, program or community over the course of five years than Trevon,” Hamlin said. “He will leave here as the winningest player of all time. His legacy and impact on the program has set up Mercer for future success. There is just not a player for valuable to his team than Trevon.

“It’s the same with Seygan. I have seen a lot of girls basketball and there is not a better player than Seygan Robins. The bigger the game, the better she plays. She is a five-star player and No. 1 player in the state. What else does she have to do.
“I think Seygan and Trevon are most deserving of the award. I just hope coaches vote for the best player who is the most valuable player and who has had the best career. If you do that, then it has to be them.”