Claremore Daily Progress

January 12, 2013

Fort Gibson races past Oologah in semifinals

Hendrix nets 500th coaching win

CNHI News Services
CNHI News Services

OOLOGAH — When Gary Hendrix took the job as the boys basketball coach at Fort Gibson, he wanted to establish a winning tradition for Tigers basketball.

On Friday in the semifinals of the Oologah Tournament, he added a milestone to that tradition as he won his 500th game, 403 for the Tigers, downing host Oologah 74-46 in the semifinals.

“I’ve had great players, a great school to work for, great assistant coaches, great family support and great community support,” Hendrix said. “I just can’t say it any better than I’ve been blessed.”

Hendrix, who coached for five years and earned his first 97 wins at Mounds prior to his arrival in Fort Gibson, had to earn his milestone victory against someone who served as an understudy to him.

“Jim Deaton (Oologah coach) is a very good friend of mine and interned at Fort Gibson for me in 1986,” Hendrix said. “But he was very congratulatory after the game and gave me a big hug.”

Jordan Hill led the way for the Tigers (9-2) with 24 points while Jordan London had 14 points and Zach Lindley had 10 points.

“Coaches are never satisfied and we didn’t shoot free throws that well tonight,” he said. “That’s something we have to work on but the kids played hard. They were happy with the win but they know we have a lot of games left and a lot of games to get better.”

The Tigers faced Inola Saturday in the championship game at the high school gymnasium.