We are one week removed from Spring Fling, meaning that the 2022-23 high school calendar has come to a close.
But the past year has been a special one for the Gibson County area with memorable games, top athletes and top coaching jobs.
So we will begin a look back on the past season with the top 15 most memorable games involving Gibson County area teams:
1. Milan football knocks off South Gibson: With three seconds remaining in regulation, Milan’s Andy Westbrooks hit a 27-yard field goal to give the Bulldogs a 24-21 victory over county rival and Region 7-4A opponent South Gibson. The Hornets had scored on five straight possessions to tie the game 21-21 with 3:29 to play. That win helped Milan finish second in the region and earn a home playoff game.
2. South Gibson girls basketball advances to state: For the first time in program history, the South Gibson girls basketball program earned a spot in the Class 3A state tournament. With 10.3 seconds remaining, sophomore Faith Reed hit a jumper to send the Lady Hornets to a 38-36 victory over Creek Wood in a sectional game to send the team to state. South Gibson outscored Creek Wood by six points in the final 12 minutes to win the game.
3. Gibson County volleyball advances to state: For the first time in program history, Gibson County earned a spot in the Class 1A state tournament. The Lady Pioneers had to go on the road and beat Lakeland Prep 3-2 in a sectional matchup to earn that win. Gibson County won 18-25, 25-22, 22-25, 25-16, 15-10 with Sania Reaves getting the winning kill for the 15th point in the fifth set.
4. South Gibson boys basketball advances to district title game: South Gibson’s Noah Clouse nailed a 3-pointer with 19.6 seconds remaining to tie the game. After a timeout, Louis Cianciolo stole a North Side pass and threw a dime to Ashton England under the basket for a layup with three seconds to play for the game-winner. The Hornets beat North Side 39-37 on the way to winning the District 12-3A championship over Liberty. England finished with 12 points and nine rebounds in the game.
5. Milan earns No. 1 seed in District 12-2A tournament: With four seconds remaining on the clock, Milan junior Carmelo Jones went up to the right of the basket and laid the ball in to give the Bulldogs the District 12-2A regular season championship. The Bulldogs won 38-37 and went on to win the tournament championship over Gibson County as well. Jones finished with 15 points.
6. Peabody girls basketball advances to region title game: With nine seconds remaining, South Fulton sank a 3-pointer to take the lead. But a quick in-bounds pass by Ny’Asia Luten to Jamiya Carter, who pushed the ball to midcourt, followed by a pass into the free throw line to a waiting Travia Brooks, who made a move and sank a 6-foot jumper with 2.1 seconds remaining gave the Lady Tide the win. The Lady Tide beat South Fulton 46-45 in the Region 7-1A semifinals to earn a spot in the region title game and in the Class 1A sectionals.
7. Milan football makes a defensive stop to beat Hardin County: A kickoff return to the Milan 29-yard line and a 26-yard pass to the three-yard line put Hardin County in position to win with 10 seconds remaining. A seven-yard pass on the final play by Hardin County was stopped by the Bulldogs’ defense to secure the 22-19 win.
8. Milan volleyball knocks off Crockett County in district semifinals: With a 3-0 victory over Crockett County in the District 14-AA semifinals, the Bulldogs accomplished two things. The Lady Bulldogs advanced to the district championship match for the first time in program history, and they played in the region semifinals for the first time in program history. Milan won 25-23, 25-20, 25-18.
9. Gibson County girls basketball wins district title: Westview might have been the best Class 2A basketball team in the state, but in the District 12-2A, that night belonged to Gibson County. The Lady Pioneers gave Westview its only loss of the season 53-43. Micah Hart scored 24 points, while Evyn Cantrell added 16 points. The Lady Pioneers led 14-5 after one quarter and kept that lead throughout the next three quarters.
10. Bradford baseball win District 13-1A crown: Going into championship Monday, Bradford had to get two wins to have a shot at winning the district crown. And when the Lions took a 2-0 lead in the first inning, things weren’t looking good. Bradford battled back and won Game 1 16-3 and Game 2 8-0 to earn the title. Carver Cates picked up wins in both games as he pitched 10 innings combined, allowing one run on six hits with five strikeouts and no walks, in a total of 102 pitches.
11. South Gibson baseball wins 12-3A title: Senior Jack Brafa threw a no-hitter as the Hornets knocked off South Side 11-0 to win the District 12-3A championship. Brafa struck out eight and walked two. South Gibson scored the 11 runs on nine hits paired with four South Side errors. Hugo Green went 2-for-3 with three RBI.
12. Milan baseball advances to the state tournament: When Loretto lost in the region semifinals and were forced to play Region 6-2A champion Milan, the Bulldogs knew they would be in a battle to try and earn a spot in the Class 2A state tournament. Milan lost Game 1 6-4 and were forced to win twice on Friday, which was also Graduation Day. Colin Milligan gave up on earned run in the first game on Friday for the 6-2 victory, and that was all that the Bulldogs needed to walk-off the deciding game 10-0 in five innings. John Carter and Cary Allen Burke drove in two runs each.
13. South Gibson boys soccer beats Crockett County: To earn the No. 1 seed in the District 14-AA tournament, the Hornets had to beat Crockett County and Dyersburg a couple of days apart. South Gibson scored early in the second half before Crockett County evened the score with one minute to play. The Hornets answered by pushing the ball up the field before Grant Goodman scored the game winner.
14. Bradford baseball finishes runner-up in Region 7-1A: The Red Devils’ chances of returning to the Class 1A state tournament were on the ropes as Halls led 4-3 heading to the bottom of the sixth inning. Sparked by a three-run home run by Braxton Whitney, the Red Devils scored eight runs in the bottom of the inning and got three outs in the seventh inning to advance to the Class 1A sectionals.
15. South Gibson girls basketball beats Dyer County in Class 3A quarterfinals: It wasn’t enough for South Gibson to makes its first-ever trip to the Class 3A state tournament, the Lady Hornets went up and won the opening game. South Gibson beat Dyer County 46-29 by holding the Lady Choctaws to seven points in the second half, including one point in the third quarter. Freshman Karson Dunn scored 16 points in the win.