Skip to content

For the first time since 2019, Gibson County girls basketball is state champions

Gibson County girls basketball beat Loretto 49-37 in the Class 2A state championship game.

MURFREESBORO — The last time Gibson County girls basketball won a state championship was in 2019. This year had many similarities.

In the championship game, the Lady Pioneers played Loretto. Same.

The championship game was on March 9. Same.

And also the same was the fact that the Lady Pioneers lifted the gold ball after beating Loretto 49-37 to finish with a 38-1 record.

“Our belief changed more than anything changed at halftime,” Gibson County coach Mitch Wilkins said. “That is what we talked about at halftime. We have a tradition and expectations in front of us. We have two great senior leaders (Micah Hart and Maya Turner), and I said to trust them. I told them that Maya was going to continue to take Ally (Weathers) out, and Micah (Hart) is going to take over this second half. They stepped up like they have all season for us.”

Gibson County struggled shooting early. In fact, the Lady Pioneers hit 1-of-7 field goals in the second quarter as Loretto went on a run and took a 21-17 lead at halftime.

But Gibson County shot over 60 percent from the field in the third and fourth quarters, and the comeback was on.

A Micah Hart jumper with 5:26 left in the third quarter tied the game 23-23.

A Georgia Lannom jumper with 1:49 to play in the third quarter gave the Lady Pioneers a 31-27 lead.

But a three-point play by Ally Weathers put Loretto up by one (32-31) before an A’Kira Riding free throw tied the game 32-32 going into the fourth quarter.

Weather opened the fourth with a jumper for the 34-32 lead, but Gibson County outscored the Lady Mustangs 17-3 the rest of the way.

Georgia Lannom tied the game with 7:13 to play, a 3-pointer by Hart with 6:24 gave Gibson County the lead and a Riding layup with 1:34 to play put the Lady Pioneers up by double digits (45-35).

Hart scored 20 points on 6-of-14 shooting, including a 4-of-6 mark from 3-point range, to go with seven rebounds to lead the way and be named the tournament MVP.

“This is something that I have worked for all four years of my high school career,” Hart said. “With all of the coaches and the players, we have waited for this moment to happen.”

Riding added 12 points on 4-of-8 shooting to go with two assists.

Gibson County dominated the rebounding battle with 31 rebounds compared to 15 for Loretto. Sania Reaves had eight rebounds to go with eight points, while Hart added her seven rebounds and Lannom had six rebounds to go with eight points.

“It is all courtesy to Coach Heather (Jones),” Lannom said. “She builds us as post players. She might be the shortest player on the court, but she hones in on our skill. We have been working since last May, and it pays off.”

Turner held Weathers to 15 points and seven rebounds, a day after containing Miss Basketball finalist Reese Beaty from York Institute.

“Last year, I guarded (Westview’s) Jada Harrison, so it is like a another day for me,” Turner said. Lannom added, “She is pretty good at it.”

Leave a Comment