Vandalia, Ohio — Chaminade Julienne has had some really impressive teams over the years. They’ve produced countless next level talents, but even some of the best C-J teams weren’t able to find postseason success. Everything fell into place for the Eagles this season though.
With top seeds like Trotwood-Madison, Dunbar, Woodward, and McNicholas all losing before C-J even had to face them, the road to a regional title was much easier then in years past.
Then the Eagles trailed by twenty to Tippecanoe in the first half and it felt like their season was over. But Kenyon Owens and Dan Nauseef sparked a run and now they sit a game away from state and the only thing stopping them is the no. 13 seeded Bishop Watterson Eagles.
After a 3-14 start to their season, something just clicked as Bishop Watterson went on a cinderella tournament run that will be remembered for years to come. Their inspiring comeback double overtime victory over McNicholas on Thursday night gave them some momentum heading into Saturday afternoon but would the Eagles have enough left in the tank to take down C-J?
Despite their slow start shooting the ball, C-J still led 8-6 at the end of the first. Luke Chandler connected on a triple which gave them an 8-3 lead early in the quarter. Watterson big man Cole Rhett was sending everything back early on as he had a pair of loud blocks to ignite the Eagles.
A.J. Solomon and Jonathan Powell each got three’s to fall and big man Dan Nauseef controlled the paint as he picked up 6 points working down low. This all led to C-J taking a 16-6 halftime lead. Nauseef’s tip-in at the buzzer gave the Eagles the momentum heading into the half.
Luke Chandler drilled a big three right after converting on an and-one. That combined with Dan Nauseef’s impressive performance on both ends gave C-J a 40-28 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Nauseef was dominant on the boards and even took a charge on defense.
Bishop Watterson went on a run in the fourth quarter as they cut the deficit to single digits with around four minutes to go. But an and-one from Kenyon Owens and then an aggresive transition slam from Nauseef put the dagger in Bishop Watterson. Both of those plays were setup by blocks from Kylan Tucker. C-J ran away and eventually won by a final score of 66-46.
Chamiande Julienne will head back to the state final four for the first time since 2015. They were led on Saturday by A.J. Solomon who had 16 points off of 3 threes and 7 free-throws. Dan Nauseef poured in 13 points while Jonathan Powell had 11 points and Luke Chandler had 10 points. The Eagles will advance to face Columbus St. Francis DeSales and star Des Watson. That game will take place at UD Arena on Saturday at 11 am.