By Grant Traylor
Not since the days of Mercer Christian Academy has there been a dominant performance throughout the Class A girls basketball ranks like that from St. Joseph this season.
The Irish finished off their fifth consecutive Class A title in impressive fashion, winning their state tournament games by a record average of 44.3 points and capping a 25-1 season with a 73-32 win over St. Marys in the championship.
Leading the way for the Irish was Mychal Johnson, a junior who is already committed to Notre Dame.
In 2013, Johnson's play not only led her to verbally committing to the scholarship offer from the Big East champion, it also led her to being named the captain of the Class A all-state team for the second consecutive year.
"We really couldn't have accomplished much more this season," Johnson said. "To win 25 games against our schedule, dominate the state tournament like we did and win the fifth straight title, it is special. It capped a great year."
Johnson, who was also named Gatorade West Virginia Girls Basketball Player of the Year last week, averaged 21.7 points, 7.9 rebounds, 6.9 assists and five steals per game on the season.
Her scoring numbers dipped slightly in the state tournament, but her complete game was on display with a pair of triple-doubles. She averaged 17.3 points, 10 assists, nine rebounds and seven steals on West Virginia's biggest stage.
Johnson was joined on the first team by St. Joe teammate Griffin Dempsey, a first-team returnee who combined with Johnson to forge one of the state's top tandems.
Dempsey's final performance of the season was a 26-point effort against St. Marys in which she knocked down a state tournament-record seven 3-pointers.
Dempsey finished the year averaging 18 points per game with 81 3-pointers and a 40 percent average from beyond the arc.
The St. Joe duo was not the only returnees from the 2012 Class A All-State team. In all, five of the eight first-team members were first-team returnees.