A Trio of “Golden” Performances Headline Week-9 of the IBCA/Franciscan Health Player of the Week Award
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 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.
Fletcher Loyer has made quite an impression at Homestead after moving into Indiana from Michigan this year. The Junior guard had a pair of quality outings last week, as he helped Homestead maintain their perfect record (11-0) against two traditional state powers. Last Tuesday the Spartans travelled 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 played host to North Central (Indianapolis), and the Spartans once again collected a win, 80-65, behind another nice effort from Loyer. The 6-5 Junior 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 43-44 free throws for a sizzling 98% from the line. Also Saturday, Loyer grabbed seven rebounds, handed out six assists, collected a pair of steals, and blocked three shots against the Panthers.
While we like to acknowledge as many different kids as possible each season, Hammond Bishop Noll Senior Courtney Blakely is our District-1 girls’ winner for a third time this year, 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 triples from deep, 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, somehow, 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 of 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.
Covenant Christian (Indianapolis) Senior Trey 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 he 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, he buried 11 of his 23 3-point attempts, and he knocked down nine of his 11 free throw attempts in the huge offensive performance. He also surpassed the 1000-point plateau in the win.
The next day, Wednesday, Flatt and Covenant Christian won the tournament, taking care of South Dearborn, 86-68. The Senior guard was again 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 were hosts to Scecina Memorial, and they again collected an easy victory. For good measure, Flatt scored 21 points, he added 10 rebounds, handed out seven assists, and picked up seven steals in the win. It was his first double-double of the season.
This week’s girls’ District-2 winner is Ashlynn Shade of Noblesville High School. The Sophomore guard helped the Millers to four wins last week, including the Greensburg Tournament title. First, though, 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. It was Wednesday when they finally 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 already. The Sophomore scored 13 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, passed out seven assists, and stole the ball four times. On Saturday, Noblesville travelled 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 total field goals, plus 7-8 free throws, on her way to 28 points. She added eight rebounds and eight steals in victory.
Owen Valley Senior Stephen 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, a 6-6 Senior, 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 they again played a close one before finally pulling away for a 71-65 win. Atkinson posted a triple-double in the championship effort. The Senior forward scored 33 points, he grabbed 10 rebounds, and he handed out 11 assists in the victory.
North Harrison Junior Ali 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, the 5-9 guard 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, she grabbed 12 rebounds from her guard position, plus she handed out a trio of assists. The Lady Cats are now 8-3 overall and on a 3-game winning streak.
This is the 13th season for the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association Player of the Week program, but the first season it is presented by Franciscan Health, a corporate sponsor of the Indiana Basketball Coaches Association.
Player of the Week winners are chosen each week from each of the IHSAA’s three districts. Girls winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Girls State Finals. Boys winners will be chosen through the Monday following the IHSAA Boys State Finals.
Other Top Nominees for Week-9 (2020-21)
District-1 Boys: Tyler Gater, Garrett; Karson Jenkins, Fort Wayne Snider; Landen Jordan, Churubusco; J.R. Konieczny, South Bend St. Joseph; Kaden Manna, Marquette Catholic; Christopher Mantis, Lowell; Joe Reidy, Woodlan; Naylon Thompson, Fort Wayne Bishop Luers; Blake Wesley, South Bend Riley; Harold Woods, Hammond.
District-1 Girls: Olivia Brooke, Pioneer; Ellia Foster, Bremen; Madelynn Hudspeth, Oregon-Davis; Mackensy Mabie, West Noble; Lilly Maple, Maconaquah; MaKaya Porter, Mishawaka Marian; Mila Reynolds, South Bend Washington; Brynn Shoup-Hill, Goshen; Olivia Smith, Fort Wayne South Side; Jaci Walker, Northridge.
District-2 Boys: Isaac Andrews, Wapahani; Brooks Barnhizer, Lafayette Jefferson; Jalen Blackmon, Marion; Mason Brooks, North Putnam; Luke Brown, Blackford; Jake Chapman, Tri-Central; Ryan Conwell, Pike; Gus Etchison, Hamilton Heights; Cole McDaniel, New Castle; Jackson Ullom, Monroe Central.
District-2 Girls: Madelyn Bischoff, Roncalli; Dakota Borman, Fountain Central; Jaleigh Crawford, Elwood; Alyssa Crockett, Westfield; Carley Culberson, Yorktown; Tyra Ford, Anderson; Chanya Lambert, Central Christian; Alex Richard, Avon; Camryn Runner, Hamilton Heights; Renna Schwieterman, Jay County.
District-3 Boys: Blake Barker, Columbus North; Caleb Dewey, Edinburgh; Josiah Dunham, Evansville Christian; Curt Hopf, Barr-Reeve; Trey Kaufman, Silver Creek; Chandler Moore, Evansville North; Tyler Myers, Evansville Day School; Logan Rohrbacher, East Central; Cody Samples, South Ripley; Kolden Vanlandingham, Northeastern.
District-3 Girls: Ryleigh Anslinger, Evansville Memorial; Katherine Benter, Brownstown Central; Lauren Foster, Indian Creek; Jesse Ledgerwood, Washington; Graycie Poe, North Knox; Isabella Reed, Greenwood Christian; Trinity Tatlock, Southwestern (Shelbyville); Jasmine Walker, Clarksville; Mary Wilson, Center Grove; Juliann Woodard, Jennings County.
2020-21 Weekly Winners
Nov. 2-Nov. 7: District-1 girls: Courtney Blakely, Hammond Bishop Noll. District-2 girls: Olivia Nickerson, Twin Lakes. District–3 girls: Hope Fox, East Central.
Nov. 9-Nov. 14: District-1 girls: Mariah Wyatt, Wabash. District-2 girls: Tyra Ford, Anderson, and McKenna Layden, Northwestern. District-3 girls: Rebekah Gordon, Heritage Hills.
Nov. 16-Nov. 21: District-1 girls: De’Mour Watson, Elkhart. District-2 girls: Erikka Hill, Shenandoah. District-3 girls: Gracie Adams, Lanesville.
Nov. 23-Nov. 28: District-1 boys: Cole Wireman, Kouts. District-1 girls: Jessica Carrothers, Crown Point. District-2 boys: Brooks Barnhizer, Lafayette Jefferson, and Gus Etchison, Hamilton Heights. District-2 girls: Jayla Smith, Lawrence North. District-3 boys: Kooper Jacobi, Silver Creek. District-3 girls: Sydney Jaynes, Trinity Lutheran.
Nov. 30-Dec. 5: District-1 boys: J.R. Konieczny, South Bend St. Joseph. District-1 girls: Olivia Smith, Fort Wayne South Side. District-2 boys: Ian Scott, Plainfield. District-2 girls: Skylie Lutz, Union City. District-3 boys: Julian Norris, Evansville Bosse. District-3 girls: Kylee Edwards, Shelbyville.
Dec. 7-Dec. 12: District-1 boys: Caleb Furst, Fort Wayne Blackhawk Christian. District-1 girls: Ellia Foster, Bremen. District-2 boys: Brody Whitaker, Greencastle. District-2 girls: Ariana Wiggins, Heritage Christian. District-3 boys: Logan Rohrbacher, East Central. District-3 girls: Abby Fleetwood, Brown County.
Dec. 14-Dec. 19: District-1 boys: Christopher Mantis, Lowell. District-1 girls: Courtney Blakely, Hammond Bishop Noll. District-2 boys: Luke Brown, Blackford. District-2 girls: Alli Harness, Carroll (Flora). District-3 boys: Lane Sparks, Greensburg. District-3 girls: Isabella Reed, Greenwood Christian.
Dec. 21-Dec. 26: District-1 boys: Luke Goode, Homestead. District-1 girls: Jessica Carrothers, Crown Point. District-2 boys: Brooks Barnhizer, Lafayette Jefferson. District-2 girls: Katie Burton, Fishers. District-3 boys: Curt Hopf, Barr-Reeve. District-3 girls: Juliann Woodard, Jennings County.
Dec. 28-Jan. 2: District-1 boys: Fletcher Loyer, Homestead. District-1 girls: Courtney Blakely, Hammond Bishop Noll. District-2 boys: Trey Flatt, Covenant Christian (Indianapolis). District-2 girls: Ashlynn Shade, Noblesville. District-3 boys: Stephen Atkinson, Owen Valley. District-3 girls: Ali Saunders, North Harrison.