EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the third in a series of articles on the second annual Ohio Valley Hoops Classic Nov. 27-28 at Wilmington College’s Fred Raizk Arena. Twenty teams from around the area will converge on the WC campus to compete in this year’s event.
Coach Joe Staley’s Chaminade-Julienne Eagles posted a 22-7 record last season and advanced to the Div. III Final Four, while Kevin Martin’s Johnnies of Johnstown Monroe went 22-4 on their way to the District Championship in Division II.
A Friday afternoon collision between the two should provide one of the best matchups in this year’s Ohio Valley Hoops Classic.
Johnstown has the game’s marquee player in 6-6 senior Jason Carter, the 13th ranked senior in the state according to Prep Hoops Ohio. Carter has committed to play for Ohio University next season. Last year he averaged 21 points and 11 rebounds per game while being named first team All-Ohio.
C.J. will counter with a rising star of their own in six-foot junior point guard Christian Montague. Montague averaged 10 points per game last season and was a first team all-league player in the always tough Greater Catholic League. He is getting some looks from D-1 colleges.
Chaminade participated in last year’s inaugural Ohio Valley Hoops Classic and coach Staley was excited to come back.
“We got our season off to a great start by beating Lexington Catholic (64-58) in last year’s Ohio Valley Hoops Classic,” said Staley. “This event does a very good job of bringing good teams together and creating great matchups. You don’t always see that in early season games. We are excited to return this year to face an outstanding team in Johnstown Monroe and one of the best big men in the state in Jason Carter.”
Johnstown’s Martin is equally excited for the opportunity.
“We are excited to participate in the Ohio Valley Hoops Classic against a formidable opponent like Chaminade-Julienne. They have a rich basketball history and we look forward to the competing with them in this event,” said Martin.
In addition to Montague, Chaminade will welcome back 6-4 forward Miles Joiner and a pair of six-foot guards in Matt Weckhesser and Tim Menker. And as usual, the Eagles will stake their fortunes on their tenacious defense which has been a staple of coach Staley’s teams during his highly successful career.
Carter isn’t the only size returning for the Johnnies. Kyle Matoszkia (6-5 junior) and 6-4 senior Cody Blevins team with Carter to give Johnstown an imposing front line. Johnstown will depend on guards Nick Taylor and Ty Maynard to get the ball to their big men against the pressure defense of Chaminade.
In the final analysis, Johnstown will try to get the ball inside to Carter and C.J. probably has no one who can stop the all-stater. Chaminade will counter by trying to use its pressure defense to force the Johnstown guards into turnovers before they can deliver the ball inside to Carter. Whichever team executes its strategy best will probably win the game.
Staley has been the Chaminade coach since 1985. During that time he has won 397 games while losing 303. His teams have captured 11 district championships, four regional championships, and 11 GCL North championships and he has sent 15 players to Div. I colleges. Staley was an assistant coach at Wilmington High School for his brother Jim during the late 1970s.
As a school C.J. has made seven Final Four appearances, winning state titles in 1966 and 1970.