Johnson Looks Back at the Marion County Girls Basketball Dynasty
In professional sports, an extended stretch of dominance is labeled a “dynasty”. If we can make a similar comparison to our area high school programs, who would come closest to being called a dynasty? Centralia softball is certainly worthy of mention with a stretch of six years that saw the Lady Panthers claim four state championships and make two other quarterfinal appearances. Marion County girls basketball has the distinction of making five trips in six years to the Show-Me Showdown.
The 2011 Lady Mustangs won the school’s only state basketball championship, but from 2009 to 2014 advanced to the state semifinals five times. The coach of those teams, Mike Johnson, said the run started with trusting some freshmen in the 2008-09 season.
Johnson mentioned the All-State players that were the foundation of teams that made four straight trips to Columbia, in Jessica Redd and Randi Lee Plunkett, who both went on to play college basketball.
Johnson got to share the extended run of excellence with his two daughters.
Johnson is now retired from the Marion County School District. His 2011 state championship team was voted as the girls basketball All-Decade team in a poll at centralmoinfo.com. Those five appearances also include one state runner-up finish, a pair of third place trophies, and fourth place once.
If you want to mention another area high school sports program that you would classify as a dynasty and why, send it to us on Twitter @centralmoinfo.