By JOSH RIZZO
Herald-Whig Sports Writer
WARSAW, Ill. -- Parker Gibbs saw an opportunity to try something new.
The 6-foot-5 West Hancock senior center caught a pass in the post, drop-stepped and got his defender to reach for the ball, before he stepped to shoot and made the basket.
Gibbs finished with 10 points in the Titans' 50-20 win over Southeastern Feb. 8 and has been taking every opportunity to work on his skill sets.
"I felt pretty confident during that game because we were winning by a good margin," Gibbs said. "I felt pretty confident I could try something and it worked. We do post-up stuff during practice. I thought I could do it, but I was never that strong at it."
West Hancock, which has reeled off eight consecutive victories and is the top seed in the Class 2A Warsaw Regional, will look for Gibbs to add some offense, to help take the burden off of 6-2 senior guard Paxton Harmon, who averages 20 points per game.
The Titans (24-5) open against the winner of No. 4 Beardstown and No. 5 Rushville-Industry at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Gibbs successfully executing that post move against the Suns came as a surprise to West Hancock coach Reno Pinkston.
"We know that Parker is going to bring the rebounding, but what he's doing in practice and games is handling the ball in press break," Pinkston said. "He's willing to put in on the floor. He's willing to get the ball in the post and look to score.
"The other night against Southeastern he had a post move we hadn't seen earlier in the year. We were talking about that if he can get the ball in the post area and score for us, that alleviates some of the stuff Paxton has to do. He's looking to score a little bit more and handle the ball a little bit more."
Finding a comfort level to be willing to take chances on defense took time for Gibbs, who averages nine points and eight rebounds per game. His first concern was always rebounding and defense.
When Harmon was injured early in the season, Gibbs and his teammates had to become more aggressive and look to score.
"I'm not going into (the postseason)thinking I have to score all the points in that game," Gibbs said. "My biggest key point is to shut down the kid coach told me to shut down. Do the best defense that I can on him and that's the biggest assignment I have going into the game. If I do get baskets, that's always good for the team.
"I just want to score when I can. My biggest assignment is to shut down their post player."
Pinkston has asked Gibbs to take on additional responsibilities when the Titans face a tough post player.
"In those instances, his responsibility was that player," Pinkston said. "Normally, he has a number of responsibilities. He did a nice job of denying that post and swinging on the back to rebound. Parker knows that is the best he can give to us. He wants to know that I know and his teammates know that's what he's going to bring to the table, superior defense and rebounding."
With the postseason approaching, Gibbs hopes to continue finding new ways to contribute in the playoffs, even if it's in a close game.
"I'd feel pretty confident doing that in a game where we're down one possession," Gibbs said. "I feel like I could score if I needed to."