Girls Basketball

amberyoungSalem Community High School’s first female four-sport athlete used her running skills to take her to the collegiate level. Amber (Wimberly) Young, a 1990 SCHS graduate, reached that status when she doubled up in the fall with cross country and volleyball. She added to that participation list with basketball in the winter and track in the spring.

Young did more than just participate. She also excelled. Young was an All-South selection and state meet participant in cross country, earned All-North Egypt Conference honors in volleyball and won her team’s Rebound and Defense Awards in basketball.

The girls basketball team of 1979-80 had a very tough act to follow. The team from the prior season had an outstanding 23-0 regular season record with several seniors. Many thought the team would not be nearly as competitive or successful. They were wrong.

Coach Jim Koehler proved through hard work, determination, and hustle, this team could be successful. They started out the season strong by winning the first 17 games in a row, led in scoring by Junior Marla Sapp, who had 770 points.

The selection of the 1978-79 girls basketball team marks the first time a girls team has been chosen for induction into the Salem High School Sports Hall of Fame.

Not only does the team hold that distinction, it also holds the honor of being the only Salem basketball team (both boys and girls) to go through a regular season undefeated. That team, which was coached by Jim Koehler, posted a 23-0 regular season mark. The Lady Wildcats’ North Egypt Conference championship that season was the only one for the program until the 1998-99 Salem girls team accomplished the trick.

marla_sapp_tolliverWhen people look at the Salem Community High School girls’ basketball record book, they will find the name Marla (Sapp) Tolliver in numerous places.

Tolliver is Salem’s all-time career scoring leader for both boys and girls with 2347 points. At one time it was believed she was the state’s all-time career scoring leader. Sixteen years after she graduated from Salem that total still ranks among the top 20 in Illinois history for girls.

carla_haney_jourdanIt took Salem Community High School basketball 44 years to produce a 1000 career points player in Mike Gibbs. Fifteen years would pass before the next Salem player reached that plateau and that player was Carla (Haney) Jourdan.

Haney reached that plateau late in the 1978-79 season. She wound up with a final career mark of 1087 points.

Haney saved her best season for last. In her senior campaign of 1978-79, she averaged 21.8 points per contest. Haney was a member of the All-North Egypt Conference First Team, a member of the Decatur Herald All-Area Team and a member of the Chicago Tribune All-State team.

Haney’s senior team produced the best overall season mark for both boys and girls at Salem. The Lady Wildcats went through the regular season undefeated at 23-0 before losing to Centralia in the regional championship game. Salem won its only NEC girls basketball championship that season with Haney.

Haney was also a great track athlete at Salem.

marianne_larimerWhen it came to Marianne Larimer’s athletic career at Salem Community High School, she was a part of many firsts.

She was a member of the school’s first volleyball team. She was a member of the first girls basketball team. Now she has become the first female to be selected to the SCHS Hall of Fame.

Larimer, whose father Bill was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1989, was a four-sport athlete at SCHS from 1972-1976. While she also played softball and tennis, her strongest sports were volleyball and basketball.

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