The Indy Blazers completed their second of two tough stretches against larger public school teams from several states, carrying a 14-8 record before looking to remain perfect in the Great Lakes Conference.
The Blazers defeated ISD 63-48 before playing three straight teams that either advanced deep into IHSAA state tournament play last season or are expected to do so this year.
Playing against a team with 7 state titles and a Top 25 player in her class nationally, the Blazers represented themselves well against traditional power Heritage Christian, falling 50-42 in a game they led in the second half. During the game, leading scorer Gloria Brewer suffered a concussion that kept her from playing in the next two games against Tindley and Bloomington South, both ending in losses. One of the bright spots was the emergence of Senior Emmy Stieglitz as a scorer, leading the team in both games with 19 and 23 points respectively, shooting 12 for 23 on three pointers.
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.