Women’s Basketball History at MV

The second of a two part series

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Head Coach Rennie and Assistant Coach Harrison watch as the game goes on.

Cam Meyer, Editorial Staff

The history of MV Lady Rams basketball dates back to 1975, with a total of 47 years having passed since the Lady Rams first season in 1975. The Lady Rams were coached by Miss Sherrie Kersh and it was mediocre to say the least. The Rams finished with a record of 2-8, ultimately not making the playoffs and hiring a new head coach to take the role, according to information from IHSA.org.

New head coach Sara Rennie stepped into the role in the 1976-77 season, and she didn’t let the role go. Coach Rennie served as the varsity girls’ basketball coach from 1976-2009, going 603-305, with a winning percentage of .664 over 33 seasons. Success came quickly for the Rams as they finished with a 15-4 record along with an IHSA Regional championship her second year. In her third year with the team, the Rams finished with a 19-6 record and an IHSA Sectional title in her third year. Then in her best season to date, the 1979-80 season, the Rams finished with a 23-2 record, they also obtained their first South Seven Conference title.  Mount Vernon won 20 regionals, including 10 straight from 1993-2002, and three sectionals under Rennie. Coach Rennie also had 18 20-win seasons and 8 South Seven titles. The greatest run the Lady Rams have had was one that ranged from 1996-2004 where they finished with a total record of 201-49, according to IHSA.org.

With all of the great success of MV’s boys teams over the years, many are surprised to find out that the coach with the most wins in school history is in fact Sara Rennie. Coach Rennie was inducted into the Basketball Museum of Illinois in 2000 for good reason. Coach Rennie and the 1985-86 Lady Rams Basketball team were also inducted into the MVTHS Athletic Hall of Fame in February, 2022.

In the 2009-10 season, Coach Jeff Lonnon was picked to succeed Coach Rennie. Lonnon has been with the team since then and has led them to a regional title in the 2019-20 season, where they finished with a record of 18-15. In the shortened 2020-21 season, Coach Lonnon led the Lady Rams to their best season record, finishing with a 10-0 record. In the 2021-22 season, Lonnon’s Rams finished with a 23-5 regular season record, along with an undefeated conference record of 10-0. The Lady Rams defeated the 16-14 Marion Wildcats 61-44 on Monday, February 9 to wrap up the regular season.

The Lady Rams defeated the Charleston Trojans on February 14 and the Effingham Flaming Hearts on February 18 to win the Regional Championship. Their postseason run came to an end on February 22 with a loss against the Civic Memorial Eagles, the final score was 57-45.