their opponents by 20 points per game and
out-rebounding the opposition by a 2-1
margin, the 1984-1985 Orphan Annies
basketball team used their size, strength and
skill to accumulate a 27-3 record and
advance to the IHSA Elite Eight basketball
tournament in Champaign.
Annies tied Marion for the South-Seven
Conference title and were Mascoutah Holiday
by senior point guard Janie Mordini, the
Annies roared into the state finals via
victories at the Centralia Regional (wins
over Salem and mascoutah), Salem Sectional
(wins over Mattoon and Marion [double
overtime]), and Collinsville Super-Sectional
(win over Belleville West).
In the first game at Champaign, Centralia
met Chicago Marshall, the #1 rated team in
the nation. After having 1 point lead
late in the 3rd quarter, the Annies could
not overcome the highly talented Commandos,
falling 63-41. Marshall went on to capture
the state title.
On the year, Loxie Leake led the team in
scoring, with support on the boards by
Mattie Willis. Additional starters
during the season were Sonya Offutt, Sonya
Spears, and Justi Miller.
Ann Murray ASSISTANT
COACH: Doug Skort
following is reprinted with permission of
the Centralia Sentinel:
Annies Feature Size, Depth
For 1984-85 Basketball Year
Tuesday, December 11, 1984
Height, depth and experience. Those three factors, more often than not, spell W-I-N-N-I-N-G.
And with the Centralia Orphan Annies, that’s their preseason summation in a nutshell.
Coach Ann Murray has a total of 10 letter winners back from last season’s 18-7 squad that makes the Annies especially deep for the upcoming season. And size-wise, Centralia is also in fine shape with returning starters Mattie Willis and Loxie Leake, both 5-10 plus 5-9 guard Janie Mordini. Add to that senior guard (and returning starter) Justi Miller plus some prospects who split time between the varsity and a very successful jayvee team and it could be the makings of a big season. In addition, the Annies will host a Class AA regional in March and will be seeking to avenge two straight
season-ending losses to Highland in post campaign tournament play.
“To start with, we’ll have Mordini and Miller at guards, and Leake, Offutt and Willis at forwards, “Murray said of the projected lineup for Thursday’s hosting of Teutopolis. Leake averaged right at 13 points a game last year and was the leading scorer, closely followed by Willis while Mordini (8ppg) and Miller (6ppg) were both regulars with Offutt (7ppg) filling the sixth player role. Tabbed as key reserves this season 6’0 junior Sonya Spears (2ppg), the clubs tallest player, up front and Crystal O’Neal (4ppg), Missy Wernsman (3ppg) and LeAnn tate (2ppg) at guards.
“We feel we’re really deep,” said Murray, “And all our players are strong physically, which should really help us toward the end of games,” Meanwhile, Centralia will also be in quest of its third successive South Seven Conference title and was
chosen as the favorite in a coaches’ preseason straw poll. “I don’t feel that it puts any pressure on us,” Murray commented of the Annies’ top ranking. “If we don’t live up to it, it’s nobody’s but our own. “I’ve told them that when you’re top dog, everybody’s looking to knock you off and you have to work that much harder. And they have
” Murray also cited the Annies’ winning tradition, especially at home, that will receive possibly its strongest test of the season in Thursday night’s game. Teutopolis finished second in Class A last season and is led by forward Doris Carie and 6’4 center Sandy Braun. The Annies will again employ a man-to-man defense although “we may use a box and one if the other
team has a particularly good shooter,” Murray said. “We’ll also do some pressing.”
Offensively, the Annies could use the standered two guard lineup or go with a one guard-four forward arrangement. “Other teams know that we’ll be looking inside, so they’ll want to force us to shoot from outside,” said Murray who added that Leake and Willlis may be seeing action out on the wings. “If we have to do that, there’s a good chance that nine out of 10 times we’ll have a crack at rebound which is something we have to do.”
Murray has posted a 137-42 record at the Annies helm including a fourth place finish at state in 1977, the second year girls’ basketball in