The Lady Eagles basketball team has gotten off to a sizzling hot start this winter, and there was no slowing down Monday night when the season's first feature team of the week hosted—both on and off the court—a group of hoopsters from Down Under.
The Australian Capitol Territory select basketball team arrived in Dayton just hours before their game against CJ’s varsity squad (5-1 overall, 4-0 GGCL) in which the Eagles recorded a sound 56-24 victory, but the team’s short stay in the buckeye state was about more than basketball.
Both sets of girls exchanged gifts before the game and shared a home-cooked meal following the final whistle. The Aussies were then welcomed to spend the night with newly-formed friends at the homes of CJ basketball families. The stop in Dayton, just one of many on the Australian team’s summer trip to the United States, was capped off Tuesday morning with a short tour of the halls of Chaminade Julienne High School.
“It was a great experience, they were all just so nice,” said junior Raytea Long. Teammate and fellow junior Emily Michael agreed, adding she felt honored to host the team. “It was fun to see and compare their culture to ours,” Michael stated.
Long and Michael together with junior Simonne Gage serve as CJ team co-captains, and the trio of underclassmen hope to surpass last season’s exciting tournament run to the regional finals by leading the Eagles to state in 2011 with the help of five seniors (pictured below).
“It’s an honor to be a captain, but I still look up to the seniors on this team,” Michael said. “They all work so hard and it inspires me to work hard.”
Starting off where they finished last season, the Lady Eagles have worked their way into a tie atop the GGCL Grey North conference by beating league rivals Purcell Marian, McNicholas, and most recently Fenwick. CJ looks to improve its winning streak to five games Monday, Dec. 20, when the girls tip-off at 7:30 p.m. against area opponent Fairborn at Fairborn Baker Middle School.