Those of you who were around University last year will remember a weekly “television” recap show entitled “This Week in University Athletics.” TWiUA is back in a text format, looking back at the past week in UHS athletics while looking ahead to the upcoming week’s events!
Girls Basketball: University 62, Fall Creek Academy 22
After a 76-38 loss to 16-5 Elwood on Tuesday night, the Lady Trailblazers visited FCA on Thursday night in the final regular season game of the year. The Blazers moved to 4-16 with the big victory, and senior guard Sharla Steiman became the first University player in three seasons to have a 20+ point game, scoring 21 in the win. Both junior forward Ellie Klemsz (12 points and 11 rebounds) and senior forward Morgan Wood (12 points and 11 steals) had double-doubles for the Trailblazers, who improved to 3-0 against Sectional 58 opponents on the season. The Blazers led 16-9 at the end of the first quarter before stretching the lead to 27-11 by the halftime buzzer. The third quarter saw the Blazers up their lead to 44-18, and a strong fourth quarter ended things at 62-22. Freshman guard Cyan Cosby had six points to aid the Trailblazer effort, while FCA had 14 from Reid.
UHS – 16 – 27 – 44 – 62
FCA – 9 – 11 – 18 – 22
UHS Scoring: Steiman 21, Klemsz 12, Wood 12, Cosby 6, Orians 4, Johns 3, A Gonzalez 2, Overdorf 2
Boys Basketball: Indianapolis Washington 70, University 52
Friday night’s match-up was a tough one for the Trailblazers, as a mid-game run by the Continentals really put this one well out of reach. The Trailblazers hung around for much of the first half, trailing 14-11 at the quarter and down just 27-24 with a minute left in the half, but a 6-0 Continental run to close the half made it 33-24 at halftime. The Continentals started strong in the third quarter and had put the game largely out of reach by the end of the third quarter, where they led 53-39. A comeback was not in the cards for the Trailblazers, and Washington continued to control the game late leading to the eventual final score of 70-52. Junior guard Anthony Maranto co-paced all scorers with 16 points for the Trailblazers, going 4/5 from behind the three-point line, while senior center Dominic Dixon made it 15 straight games in double-figures, scoring 14. Zach Ladd had 16 points for the Continentals, Joseph English had 14, and Kamren Montgomery had 12.
UHS – 11 – 24 – 39 – 52
GW – 14 – 33 – 53 – 70
UHS Scoring: Maranto 16, Dixon 14, Wott 6, Bates 5, Matthews 4, Grubaums 3, Liston 2, Murdock 2
Boys Basketball: Seton Catholic 65, University 63
A close loss typically is one that haunts a team for awhile. It’s not to say that Saturday’s loss isn’t one that hurts—it does—but it’s also the type of game that could be a catalyst for a team to go on a run. After a very flat performance on Friday, the Blazers came out on Saturday night with energy and a feeling of togetherness. Playing a tough Cardinals team (Seton Catholic improved to 9-6 with the victory—they would be 10-5 if not for a forfeited game due to an IHSAA rules violation), the Blazers fought back from a 16-point deficit in the fourth quarter to almost take the win. Early in the fourth quarter, Seton Catholic led 60-44. The Blazers closed the gap to a point on a couple of occasions down the stretch with big Eric Wott threes keeping them in the game, but they could never grab the elusive lead. An Eric Wott heave at the buzzer had just a bit too much on it, and the Blazers came up just short. But the heart and fight shown from the Trailblazers should catalyze this team on to bigger and better things, starting with Thursday’s visit to Covenant Christian (more on that later). Everyone who played contributed, and if not for a couple of bad breaks, the Trailblazers would have likely left Richmond with a big victory. The Cardinals led 10-9 at the quarter and 29-24 at the halftime before stretching the lead to 52-38 at the end of three. Unlike Friday night, the Blazers hung in the game, and a 19-5 run to close the game just wasn’t enough to pull out the win. Adam Schroeder led all scorers with 30 points for the Cardinals, while Eric Wott and Dominic Dixon led the Blazers with 15 points each. Bates added 12 for UHS, and Dixon’s night also saw a double-double as he recorded 12 rebounds for his eighth double-double of the year.
UHS – 9 – 24 – 38 – 63
SC – 10 – 29 – 52 – 65
UHS Scoring: Dixon 15, Wott 15, Bates 12, Johnson 6, Maranto 4, Matthews 4, Murdock 4, Forkin 3, Liston 2
Girls Basketball Sectionals This Week!
The UHS girls basketball team enters Sectional 58 play this week, playing the host school Bethesda Christian (11-7) Tuesday night at 6:00 p.m. If the Trailblazers win Tuesday, they’ll play Fall Creek Academy (1-19) in the semi-final on Friday night, once again at 6:00 p.m. The Blazers look a good bet to advance to another championship game (that would be contested Saturday), having already recorded wins of 22 and 40 over Bethesda and Fall Creek respectively. The Blazers are favored by 8.5 points Tuesday night per Jeff Sagarin’s ratings and by 13 points under John Harrell’s predictions and have never lost to Bethesda Christian. However, come tournament time and especially playing at Bethesda, the Blazers must be weary of the upset on Tuesday. A fan bus is available, leaving UHS at 4:45 p.m. and returning at 8:00 p.m., and tickets are $6 for a single session or $10 for all sessions. The bus itself is, as always, free. To reserve a spot on the fan bus, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org! Last year, we brought far and away the largest crowds in the sectional, and we need to do the same to help the girls out again this year! Show up to support your Lady Blazers because they’ve fought and worked hard to represent our school all year—let’s show them how much we appreciate their hard work as they go for back-to-back sectional championships and University’s fifth in six tries! For more on why I think our 4-16 Blazers are good bets to win the sectional title again despite a rough year, be sure to read my sectional preview, “Defending Champions or Sectional Underdogs?”
Boys Basketball Visits Covenant Christian
The boys basketball team is also in action this week, with a C-Team/JV/Varsity triple-header at Covenant Christian on Thursday night. The games start at 5:00 p.m., and the Trailblazers will be looking to grab a big trio of victories. In the varsity matchup, the Blazers can get back to .500 with a win and are 3.5 point underdogs per Sagarin and 1 point ‘dogs by Harrell but have performed well all season against the spread (the Blazers were 6 point underdogs last night). Covenant’s had a rough year—they’re 5-12—and if University plays as well as they did down the stretch last night, they’ll pull out the win. A winning season is still a possibility, but the Blazers will have to win three out of their last four games—at Covenant, at Heritage Christian, vs Indiana Deaf, and at Guerin Catholic. It will certainly be tough to do, but it is within reach. With a win Thursday and a win on Senior Night, it would make back-to-back ten win seasons for the Trailblazers, who currently sit at 8-9. The C Team also plays this week, visiting Westfield tomorrow in Hamilton County Tournament action.
I’ll check in with some fascinating statistics about University sports as time goes along, and we’ve got some good ones for you this week!
Senior guard Eric Wott is sixth in the state (and second in Class A) in three-point shooting percentage amongst players who have attempted at least 75 three point attempts, shooting at a 45.88% clip from behind the arc. Eric is also tied for 15th in the state (and tied for second in Class A) in three pointers made with 39.
Senior center Dominic Dixon is 25th in Class A in scoring, averaging 14.6 points per game. Dominic is also on the leaderboards in total rebounding, sitting at 12th in the state (and tied for fourth in Class A) with 148 rebounds. Dominic is also tied for fourth in the IHSAA (and tied for third in Class A) in offensive rebounding, with 66 offensive boards. In addition, he is tied for sixth in the state (and tied for third in Class A) in blocks with 43.
Senior forward Kevin Bates is tied for 32nd in the state (and twelfth in Class A) in steals, with 39. Kevin is also tied for 17th (and seventh in Class A) in personal fouls committed with 53.
On the girls side, junior forward Ellie Klemsz is tied for 22nd in Class A in total rebounding with 161. Ellie is also tied for 44th in the state (and tied for tenth in Class A) in blocks recorded with 31.
Senior forward Morgan Wood also breaks 1A’s top 50 in rebounding with 130 on the season. Morgan is also tied for 23rd in Class A in total steals with 56.
Senior forward Emily Johns is also in Class A’s top 50 rebounders with 120. Emily is also tied for 26th in the class in blocks, having recorded 20.
Sophomore forward Elizabeth Orians also reaches the blocks leaderboard with her 18 blocks placing her 28th in the class.
Ending on a personal note…
Portions of my story ran for The U Post—”Defending Champions or Sectional Underdogs?“—will be featured in tomorrow’s Noblesville Daily Times, so be sure to pick up a copy!