March 15, 2013 marks exactly 10 years since an Eagles’ women’s basketball team won a state championship. On this date in 2003, Chaminade Julienne defeated Cleveland Villa Angela-St. Joseph 60-46 in the Division II finals, earning the program its second of three titles in school history.
Led by head coach Frank Goldsberry, a 2007 CJ Hall of Fame inductee, and assistant Thom Grimm, the Eagles finished the season with a record of 26-2. CJ beat nine of Ohio’s top 10 teams that season, including the eventual Division I champion Beavercreek. Their only losses came at the hands of state championship teams from Missouri and Illinois. Along the way, the girls allowed a season average of just 37.8 points per game while scoring 60.6.
“This group continued to pave the way for the great tradition CJ is known for,” said Mandy Myers ‘00, current head varsity coach. “They carried the torch from the great players before them to the great players after them, making their own impressive statement along the way.”
The CJ women’s basketball program made a name for itself in Ohio in the late 1990’s and early 2000’s by appearing in six state finals games over a period of just eight years. The Eagles captured titles in 1999, 2003 and 2005, and finished as state runner-up in 1998, 2001 and 2004.
Although she did not play with or coach the 2003 team, Myers said she remembers the group for their tenacity and hard-working attitude on the court, both in practice and during games. She remains good friends with many of the girls today.
“The girls came and talked to our current team this past December and it was clear that the standards and traditions set by the 2003 team still carry on today,” Myers said. Members of the 2003 team who were able to make it back to CJ were also honored at halftime of the home men’s basketball game on Dec. 21.
Ten years later, Myers’ team made history of its own by becoming the seventh CJ women’s basketball team to appear at state. Not long after receiving their pep talk from the past champs, the Eagles were staring at a mediocre 9-9 record near the midway point of the 2013 season; however, the girls rallied in late January to win 10 consecutive games and advanced to the state final four as regional champs following a thrilling 47-45 overtime victory against league rival Carroll.