Hines Furniture Athlete of the Week: Gibson Leads Scott’s Branch to Three Key Regional Wins
The Scott’s Branch men’s basketball team is the heart of its region’s slate. The Eagles needed someone to step in as they faced East Clarendon and Hemingway in a total of three games last week. Hemingway was just behind Scott’s Branch in the 1A polls, sitting at No. 3 with the Eagles at the top of the standings.
Randy Gibson turned out to be the player Scott’s Branch was looking for.
After a relatively quiet game in an East Clarendon blowout, Gibson put in two masterful offensive performances to lead the Eagles to a Hemingway sweep. He was able to earn Hines Furniture Athlete of the Week in the process.
“It means a lot to me to know they support me,” Gibson said of the community at Scott’s Branch that drove him to win the weekly award. “I know my community only wants the best for me and allows me and the team to carry on.”
Gibson started the week with a 10-point game against East Clarendon. The Eagles won that game 60-37 and were able to spread the ball a bit. He added four steals, two assists and two rebounds.
The high pressure games started on Wednesday. The Eagles hosted Hemingway in their opener and Gibson exploded. He started for 24 points, nine rebounds, two assists and two steals. More importantly, he didn’t return the ball in the 58-41 win. He wasn’t focused on his stat line, however, he just wanted the win.
“Honestly, I didn’t know until after the game when they gave me my stats,” Gibson said. “My coaches do a great job of putting us in the right places to be successful. That was up to me.”
This plays into Gibson’s mindset for the week. He wasn’t focused on the playoff implications, he just wanted to play his best basketball.
“Really just be myself,” Gibson said of his thought process ahead of the week. “I try to be more of a versatile player and be the leader that I am.
“Our main belief is to go one game at a time and see where we finish.”
Gibson continued his good week with another big game against Hemingway on Friday.
He scored 18 points as the Eagles used a massive fourth quarter to earn a 51-42 comeback victory. The win set the Eagles up for a pair of games against Carvers Bay to determine the region’s champion.
While Gibson said he and his teammates try to take things one game at a time, he admitted that games against ranked teams give him a bit more energy.
“We’re trying to stay off the leaderboard and just play basketball, but yeah, we do (add to game),” said Gibson, who also had two rebounds, an assist and a block. in Friday’s win. “We’ve worked hard for this place and we plan to go all the way.”
While Gibson is willing to do whatever it takes to win these high-stakes matches, he’s also thrilled to be the one to deliver the feats.
“These big games are what I expected,” Gibson said. “I just feel like I’m playing my best when the lights are on.”
Gibson is certainly used to playing in the spotlight. He and the Eagles have played for back-to-back state titles, and he wants to not only return to that game this year, but walk away with a ring.
“We just have to stay disciplined and believe in each other,” Gibson said. “We’ve done a great job so far, we just want to build in all aspects.”