By THE HERALD-WHIG STAFF
LaPLATA, Mo. -- Boom, boom, boom.
That's how Mike Johnson, coach of the Marion County girls basketball team, described the three 3-pointers that Danielle Maxwell drained in the third quarter that propelled the Mustangs to a 42-26 victory over the host school in the Class 1 District 10 championship game at LaPlata High School.
Kaelyn Spratt helped the top-seeded Mustangs take a 21-12 halftime lead when she scored 12 of her team's 15 points in the second quarter.
Then Maxwell, a sophomore, put the game away.
"It seemed like we were a little flat, missing a few shots, and I brought her in halfway through the third quarter like I always do," Johnson said. "Then all of a sudden ... boom, boom, boom. Those were really the daggers.
"When she gets time, I'm telling you, she's unbelievable. Dani's one of those kids who doesn't get shaken, and she has no conscience. If she gets a three, she's going to shoot it."
Marion County limited LaPlata (17-10) to single-digit scoring in all four quarters. Johnson credited that to a sagging man-to-man defense that was designed to control LaPlata's top two scorers, Makay Belt and Sam Jett. Belt finished with 15, but Jett had just two points after scoring 18 in the district semifinals.
The Mustangs limited their three district opponents to 82 points.
The district crown was the fifth consecutive for Marion County (19-9) and the first since the graduation of all-state players Jessica Redd and Randi Lee Plunkett.
"It was good for our kids, and the whole year has been good," Johnson said. "Getting this win this time was really sweet. All of (the district championships) were nice, and right now, this caps a nice regular season.
"I can't tell you how nice it feels for this group, because they've been in the shadows a lot."
The Mustangs will play Tuesday in sectional action at Sturgeon against the winner of the District 9 tournament at Jamestown.