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Former Talihina boys coach to be honored tonight

December 20, 2011

Talihina Boys Basketball Coach Chris Gillespie, center, gives Talihina Superintendent Jason Lockhart, left, the basketball All-State jacket for his son, Taggart, during the LeFlore County All-Star Games May 18 at Carl Albert State College's Mick Thompson Fieldhouse as Panama Girls Coach Dennis Wright watches. Gillespie is going to be honored tonight as the basketball court at Talihina's Ray Henson Gymnasium will be named "Chris Gillespie Court." PDN Staff Photo by David Seeley

All of LeFlore County's spotlight will be centered on one location on this night.
For starters, the only games involving a county school take place tonight when the Talihina teams entertain Broken Bow at Ray Henson Gymnasium.
However, there will be more than just hoops taking place there tonight. In between games, former Talihina Boys Coach Chris Gillespie will be honored by having the court named in his honor.
When I went down a couple of weekends ago for the Choctaw Nation Tournament, I saw the ensignia on both sides of the court — it has his signature above the word “Court.”
Gillespie, who now is coaching the high school and junior girls' teams at Colbert (which is just south of Durant and just north of the Red River), coached 29 of his 41 years at Talihina High School. Each of the last four seasons, he guided the Golden Tigers to the Class 2A State Tournament — winning it all last March after two runner-up finishes and a state-quarterfinal appearance in the first of the four straight trips to state.
During the LeFlore County All-Star Games last May at Carl Albert State College's Mick Thompson Fieldhouse, Gillespie was awarded the LeFlore County Coaches Association's Boys Coach of the Year Award.
LeFlore County JH Tournament Guide Coming Out Dec. 31
The 2012 LeFlore County Junior High Tournament Guide will be published on Dec. 31, the weekend edition prior to the tournament beginning on Jan. 2, 2012.
I want to thank all the coaches and yearbook teachers who helped get me all the team photos and numeric rosters for this publication.
Being new to this a season ago, I didn't understand that this special section is indeed the “programs” handed out at the tournament sites — which this season will be Sherman Floyd Fieldhouse, the Pansy Kidd Middle School Gym and CASC's Mick Thompson Fieldhouse (the site of the finals).
I plan to make this special section look the way it should have looked a year ago.
Play-In Games for JH Tournament Take Place
The hopes of getting to play the play-in games during the week of the LeFlore County Junior High Tournament did not get to pan out this season.
I found out from Wister Junior High Boys Coach George Midgley that last week the Monroe boys defeated Shady Point, while Cameron's girls beat Shady Point in this season's play-in games.
The way the calendar falls next season, there's better chance to get the play-in game played the weekend before the tournament begins. We'll see if that gets to materialize in January 2013.
In Closing
Since this will be the last Cage Notes Column before Christmas, I want to wish you all a Merry Christmas, and I'll see you next Tuesday morning.

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