Walker, Chaminade Julienne hand archrival and No. 1 Alter its first loss

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C-J wing and UConn recruit Samarie Walker had 22 points and 20 rebounds in Friday’s win. (Photo by Nick Falzerano)

Typically, the numbers and records can be thrown out the window in rivalry games. And Dayton Chaminade Julienne threw out rival Kettering Alter’s
perfect record
Friday night, upending the state’s No. 1-ranked Division
II team 50-42 at Wright State’s Ervin J. Nutter Center. UConn recruit Samarie Walker led CJ’s charge with 22 points and 20 boards.


FAIRBORN – Typically, the numbers and records can be thrown out the window in rivalry games.

And Dayton Chaminade Julienne threw out rival Kettering Alter’s
perfect record Friday night upending the state’s No. 1-ranked Division
II team 50-42 at Wright State’s Ervin J. Nutter Center.

The win was retribution for the Lady Eagles, who lost to their Girls Greater Cincinnati League rival 46-45 in mid-December.

“We had control of that game the first time out and without three or
four mistakes in the last minute-and-a-half, we should have won that
game,” CJ head coach Duane Williams said. “We play a great schedule and
we are prepared for these games.”

CJ (12-5, 6-2) was paced by senior forward and Connecticut recruit
Samarie Walker, who netted a game-high 22 points and pulled down 20
rebounds.

“I wanted this (win) more than anything,” Walker said. “This was my
last time playing (Alter) and my eighth time overall. We wanted to beat
them the first time and we didn’t so we knew we had to beat them this
time.”

Walker was held to just 12 points and 11 rebounds in the first match
up this season but played with a particular tenacity in the rematch.

“I know as a leader and a senior, (the team) is going to feed off of
me so the coaches are always harping on me to step up and come out with
a lot of energy and the team will follow,” Walker said. “I am not
really an extrovert but I had to be tonight to get them to play harder.”

Defensive rebounding made a difference in the game for CJ, which tallied 24 to Alter’s 11 offensive boards.

“I told them we couldn’t let them get second and third shots or we
won’t deserve to win this game,” Williams said of his team’s
performance on the defensive glass. “That is our strength. We better
dominate the defensive end rebounding and get some offensive put-backs.”

CJ also forced 15 Alter turnovers.

“Their defense is a lot better than the last time we played,” Alter
head coach Chris Hart said. “They are a lot more aggressive defensively
and their rebounding has improved.”

As is typical in any CJ-Alter match up, the game was tightly
contested with five ties and 14 lead changes. CJ led 24-19 at the break
and came out gunning after halftime scoring four unanswered points
within the first minute of the third quarter.

“We just came out stronger against their zone,” Hart said. “We
weren’t doing very well against it so we talked about some things at
halftime and made some adjustments and were a little more aggressive
with it.”

But CJ out-scored Alter 17-6 in the fourth quarter to ice the win.

“We just went cold,” said Alter senior guard Ashley Christie, who led her team with 14 points. “You’ll have that sometimes.”

CJ sophomore Simmone Gage had 11 points and her senior sister chipped in 10.

Alter (15-1, 6-1) also got seven points from both junior guard
Courtney Christie and sophomore guard Allison Bockrath, respectively.

For Williams, it is his first win over Alter for the first-year head coach.

“It’s a quality win,” Williams said. “It’s not personal with me at
all. This is like playing against your brother or your sister in the
back yard. You play to win but after the game I could still hug them
and go out to dinner with them – win or lose.”

And, of course his first win over the Knights is their first loss of
the season. However, Hart never thought the Lady Knights would finish
the season unbeaten.

“We never expect to go undefeated,” Hart said. “If we go undefeated,
we tell our kids and our parents that we haven’t done a good job
scheduling. We like to be challenged. We play a tough schedule and
should be challenged every night.

“We have been learning from wins and improving as the year has gone
on. This is good for us. You always learn a lot from a loss and I think
we’ll learn from this tonight.”

Since starting the season 3-4, CJ has now won nine of its last 10 games.

“We’re coming together more as a team,” Walker said. “It was hard at
first but all of us seniors stayed on the younger girls to get closer
as a team.”

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