The Indy Blazers finished another historic season, advancing farther than any Blazer team in history as they won their third straight Gold Ball and lost in a 1-point heartbreaker in the National Final Four.
The 18-19 season loaded more hardware into an already crowded trophy case as the Blazers won their second straight conference title, fourth straight state title, third region title, the Blazers defeated the KC Metro Mavericks 42-39 in a rematch of their first ever Gold Ball win. Gloria Brewer led the Blazers in their comeback win with 25 points and 12 rebounds. The third straight national title moved the Blazers into the Undisputed National Championship Bracket, where all 8 national gold ball winners compete for the overall national title.
Despite close calls in their other two Undisputed games in previous years, the Blazers had never advanced into the National Final Four. But this season, Indy rolled to a 63-48 win over Nashville Central Christian in their Elite Eight game behind a balanced scoring attack. Five Blazers scored in double figures (19-Brewer/11-Richards/11-Rhoads/10-Allman/10-Stieglitz). The win sent the Blazers deeper into the national tournament than they’d ever been and a rematch with the Back-to-Back Undisputed National Champion MHEA out of Memphis, Tennessee.
The Final Four game was a defensive war, with each team struggling to score against the other’s elite defense. The Blazers held a 28-26 lead headed into the final quarter, but couldn’t hold on as the 2-time defending champs hit a free throw with 15 seconds left to take the lead and held on despite several close attempts by the Blazers in the last 7 seconds. MHEA won 31-30 and went on to win their third straight Undisputed National Championship.
The Blazers and their three Seniors (Skylar Allman, Stephanie Richards, and Emmy Stieglitz) ended the historic year at 27-10.
After claiming its second straight Great Lakes Conference title and 3rd in 4 years, the Indy Blazers continued their domination of Indiana homeschool basketball by rolling through the state tournament, claiming their fourth straight state title with a 70-33 win over the Indy Wildcats in the championship game. The Blazers head into the Midwest Regionals as the #1 seed with a 19-8 record and remain undefeated against homeschool teams this season, with its only losses coming to public or private schools.
In the title game, Gloria Brewer led Indy with 18 points and 21 rebounds. Senior Skylar Allman added 17 points and 8 assists. And Juniors Katie Poer and Lydia Rhoads added 12 and 10 points respectively.
The Blazers secured a second straight conference title with an undefeated conference record earlier in February by knocking off the 2018 Gold Ball winner Cincinnati Trailblazers in a tough 46-39 win at home. Brewer led the Blazers with 18 points and the rest of the team all contributed with an impressive defensive effort.
In December, the first stretch of 5 straight against larger public schools included defeats against Cathedral and East Central in Indiana, and then a 1-2 record in the Heritage High Holiday Tournament in Tennessee. The Blazers were competitive in all but one of the games, led in scoring by freshman Gloria Brewer with 20+ in 4 of the 5 games. Emmy Stieglitz, Katie Poer, and Skylar Allman each had multiple double digit scoring games.
In their return to conference play in 2019, the Blazers mowed through the competition, outscoring their opponents 117-43 in the first Great Lakes Conference weekend. Brewer averaged 24 ppg, Skylar Allman with 15 ppg, and point guard Stephanie Richards returned after several weeks off with injury to average 10 ppg.
BREWER NAMED MAXPREPS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
MaxPreps named Blazers freshman Gloria Brewer the WBCA Player of the Week for National Region 4 in December. Congratulations to Gloria for this national honor recognizing her as one of the top players in the nation during the week. During the four game stretch, Brewer averaged 23 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 3 steals per game in which the Blazers went 3-1, including a 33 point perfomance in a double OT loss to Covenant Christian.
BLAZERS OPEN AT 10-1
After winning the National Homeschool Tipoff Tournament for the first time in program history, the Blazers won their first game in Indiana, followed by an nail biting loss against former IHSAA State Finalist Covenant Christian in Double Overtime.
Returning from their St. Louis wins, the Blazers remained perfect at 4-0, defeating new conference entry Living Water Marlins 56-28 behind Freshman Gloria Brewer’s 22 points in Indianapolis.
Then the Blazers matched up with Covenant Christian, a team that made the Indiana State Finals just two seasons ago. In an incredible effort, the Blazers battled back from a double digit lead in the first half to take Covenant to two overtimes before falling 70-66. Brewer hit two clutch shots to send the game into the extra periods and led all scorers with 33. Senior Skylar Allman slid over to the point guard role and tallied 18 points after starter Stephanie Richards had an emergency appendectomy over the holidays.
The Blazers then returned to the victory column, rolling through the Crossroads Clash in Westfield, Indiana, winning with a combined score of 216-80 in three games over two days against Kokomo, Bluegrass United, and Crossroads Christian(IL).
The Blazers take their 7-1 record to the Fort Wayne Midwest Challenge December 7th-8th.
Gloria Brewer leads the Blazers in scoring/rebounding/steals through the first 8 games, averaging 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 4.5 steals a game. Skylar Allman and Katie Poer are averaging 10 points a game each, with Allman leading in assists with 4.5/game.
BLAZERS WIN NATIONAL TIPOFF TOURNAMENT AGAINST DEFENDING CHAMPS
For the first time in program history, the Indy Blazers won the National Tipoff Tournament in St. Louis, Missouri, sweeping all three games, including a come-from-behind victory over the back-to-back defending undisputed national champion MHEA Eagles of Memphis in the Tipoff Championship game.
Down 34-30 heading into the fourth quarter, the Indy Blazers held defending back-to-back undisputed national champion MHEA to 3 points total and scoreless the last 4 minutes to claim the National Tipoff Championship and the program’s first win against the storied program out of Memphis! Gloria Brewer led all scorers with 20 points, Stephanie Richards with 12, and both had 5 in the final and deciding period. The Blazers shoot 5-7 on free throws to seal the win. The Blazers begin the season perfect at 3-0.
In the semis, the Blazers improved to 2-0 on the season, winning 54-35 over Tulsa NOAH. Gloria Brewer with 20 points/8 rebounds/7 steals, Stephanie Richards with 16 pts/4 reb/3 assists, and Skylar Allman with 7 pts/5 rebounds/4 assists.
In the season opener, the Blazers recorded their first win with a 55-16 win over the Jackson Victors. Junior Katie Poer led a balanced scoring attach for the Blazers with 16 points, Skylar Allman had 12, and all 9 players on the roster scored. Every Blazer had at least one rebound, led by Brewer’s 5 and Emmy Stieglitz and Lydia Rhoads with 4. Seven of 9 Blazers had an assist (Allman with 6, Brewer with 4). And 6 Blazers had a steal, led by 5 each for Allman and Brewer, with 4 by Reya Garcia.
BLAZERS SEEKING THIRD STRAIGHT NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
Fresh off the program’s first ever back-to-back 1A National Championships, the Indy Blazers begin their journey in search of a third straight title and potentially more the first weekend in November at the National Tipoff Classic in St. Louis.
The Blazers return 7 of the 8 players from last year’s 28-10 squad, and with several key additions, the team is setting goals potentially beyond a 1A National Title.
The Blazers bring back the bulk of their statistical leaders. Back is All-American candidate Gloria Brewer. The freshman led the Blazers in scoring, rebounding, assists, and steals last season. Senior point guard Stephanie Richards looks to build off of a career year, where she set personal bests in every major offensive category last year. Senior Skylar Allman returns healthy with over 1,600 career points. Just a Junior, Katie Poer enters her fifth year of Varsity basketball as one of the Blazers top defenders who also set career marks in all major offensive columns. While fellow Junior Lydia Rhoads also enters her fifth year of Varsity play looking to build on last year’s personal bests in rebounds, assists, and steals. Emmy Stieglitz will provide even more defense and experience after setting career marks in scoring, assists, and steals last season. And reserve Gracia Haslett continues to provide valuable minutes on the Blazers deepening bench.
In addition to their national goals, the Blazers will look to claim its fourth straight state homeschool title, and its third Great Lakes Conference championship in four years.