INDIANAPOLIS — With 2021 upon us, three players saw their way to 50-point performances last week.
Homestead junior Fletcher Loyer, Covenant Christian (Indianapolis) senior Trey Flatt, and Hammond Bishop Noll senior Courtney Blakely all reached the half-century mark in points over the holiday break.
In total, six basketball players from around the state were selected as recipients for the Week 9 IBCA/Franciscan Health Player of the Week award.
Owen Valley senior Stephen Atkinson, Noblesville sophomore Ashlynn Shade, and North Harrison junior Ali Saunders join Loyer, Flatt, and Blakely as the selected honorees for Dec. 28-Jan. 2 in the recognition program coordinated by the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.
Loyer and Blakely share boys’ and girls’ honors, respectively, in District 1. Flatt is the boys’ recipient, and Shade is the girls’ recipient in District 2. Atkinson is the boys’ winner, while Saunders is the girls’ winner in District 3.
Loyer has made quite an impression at Homestead after moving to Indiana from Michigan this year. The junior guard had a pair of quality outings last week, as he helped Homestead maintain its perfect record (11-0) against two traditional state powers.
Last Tuesday, the Spartans traveled to Marion, where they knocked off the Giants, 92-77. But it was Loyer who was giant in this one, pouring in 50 points on a blistering 20-28 from the field, 6-10 from behind the arc, and 4-4 from the free throw line. For good measure, he added four rebounds, five assists, and five steals in the victory.
On Saturday, Homestead hosted North Central (Indianapolis), and the Spartans once again collected a win, 80-65, behind another nice effort from Loyer, who scored 18 points in this game, and he again knocked down all of his free throw attempts.
On the year, the Purdue University commit has made 43-of-44 free throws for a sizzling 98 percent from the line. Also, Loyer grabbed seven rebounds, handed out six assists, collected a pair of steals, and blocked three shots against the Panthers.
Blakely is our District 1 girls’ winner for a third time this season because she was undeniably outstanding last week in a trio of performances.
Monday, in a 75-59 victory against Gary Lighthouse CPA, Blakely wowed fans with a 49-point performance. She knocked down 20 shots from the field, including seven treys, along with two free throws to get to that mark. Additionally, she had a rebound, three assists, and seven thefts in the contest.
Two days later, she was even better. Wednesday, in an easy win over River Forest, the 5-7 guard was 21-35 from the field, 5-12 from deep, and made three tosses from the charity stripe to score a career-high 50 points. She nearly posted a triple-double with her eight rebounds and nine steals in the victory.
Saturday, in a close 57-53 loss to South Bend St. Joseph, the Lady Indians had to have felt good about holding Blakely to a 37-point performance after the week she had. Again, the senior guard was impressive, making 15 field goals, knocking down six 3-pointers, and adding a free throw in the effort. She also contributed four rebounds, four assists, and three steals in defeat.
Before last week, Blakely’s career high was 36 points, set as a Junior and then matched earlier this year.
Flatt had his own high-octane week as well, as he helped the Warriors to four wins and a perfect 8-0 start to the season.
The Warriors started their week on Tuesday at the Morristown Tournament, where they knocked off South Ripley 69-52 to begin play. Flatt was a modest 7-13 from the field, 3-8 from deep, and 5-5 from the line, as he scored 22 points, grabbed four rebounds, handed out seven assists, and collected a steal.
It was later in the day when Flatt would catch fire, as the 6-0 guard poured in 52 points in an 85-58 win against Lawrenceburg. Flatt was 16-29 from the field, buried 11 of his 23 3-point attempts, and knocked down nine of his 11 free throw attempts in the huge offensive performance. He also surpassed the 1,000-point plateau in the win.
Wednesday, Flatt and Covenant Christian won the tournament, defeating South Dearborn, 86-68. Flatt again was 7-13 from the field, he was 2-5 from 3-point range, but this time he did a lot more work at the free throw line, knocking down 14-15 shots from there, on his way to 30 points and the tournament MVP award.
Saturday, the Warriors hosted Scecina Memorial, and they again collected an easy victory. For good measure, Flatt scored 21 points, added 10 rebounds, handed out seven assists, and picked up seven steals in the win. It was his first double-double of the season.
Shade, a sophmore guard, helped the Millers to four wins last week, including the Greensburg Tournament title.
Before that, the Millers hosted Avon on Monday for a Hoosier Crossroads Conference matchup, escaping with a hard-fought 59-52 victory. Shade had to work for her 13 points, but she posted a double-double with 10 rebounds, plus she added five assists and four steals in the big conference win.
Wednesday, they headed to Greensburg, knocking off a solid New Palestine group 70-55 in the first round. Shade stepped up in a big way, scoring 27 points on 11-16 shooting, grabbing eight rebounds, handing out a pair of assists, and collecting five steals.
Later that evening, the Millers won the tournament by defeating the host Pirates, 60-37. Greensburg hounded Shade, but she still managed another double-double, her sixth of the year, by scoring 13 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. She also passed out seven assists, and stole the ball four times.
On Saturday, Noblesville traveled to Martinsville to take on a very good Artesians team. The Millers won 73-47 to move to 12-3 on the year. Shade was again dialed in, as she made 10 field goals, plus 7-8 free throws, on her way to 28 points. She added eight rebounds and eight steals in victory.
Atkinson helped lead the Patriots to a pair of wins and the title of the Owen Valley Classic last Wednesday.
In their first game of the day, the Patriots took on a worthy University squad, escaping with a 57-53 win. Atkinson led the way with 35 points, seven rebounds, and seven assists in the contest.
Later that evening, Owen Valley faced off against Eastern (Greentown) in the title game, and it was close before finally pulling away for a 71-65 win. Atkinson posted a triple-double in the championship effort, as he scored 33 points, grabbed 10 rebounds, and handed out 11 assists in the victory.
Saunders is the District 3 girls’ honoree this week, as she helped the Lady Cats to the Indian Creek Tournament title on Saturday.
In their first game of the day, the Lady Cats took care of Bloomington North, 54-38. The junior guard was a solid 10-15 from the field and 8-10 from the free throw line, on her way to 28 points in the contest. She added six rebounds, three assists, and five steals, as North Harrison advanced to the championship game.
In the title contest, Saunders was again involved in many ways, as she posted a double-double in a nail-biting 54-50 championship triumph. Saunders finished with 30 points in the win, grabbed 12 rebounds, and had a trio of assists. The Lady Cats are now 8-3 overall and on a 3-game winning streak.