MHS set to host 3rd annual Gary Filbert Classic
The third annual Gary Filbert Classic will be held at Mexico High School on Jan. 4, 2014 with the first game tipping off at 11 a.m. The classic, named in honor and memory of former MHS Coach Gary Filbert, brings together 12 regional high school teams for a day of basketball action.
"The Gary Filbert Classic is an opportunity for Mexico High School to give back to the memory of Coach Gary Filbert the legendary coach of the Mexico Bulldogs from 1955-1969," said Mexico High School Activities Director Jeff Anderson. "The classic gives our community an opportunity to cherish the memories of Coach Filbert and his family and to enjoy the great game of basketball which Coach spent his lifetime investing in the State of Missouri."
Cost of admission is $6 for adults and $2 for students. This price gets a visitor in for all games.
$1 from each adult ticket goes to the Gary Filbert Scholarship Fund. At halftime of each game, cheerleaders will collect donations that will go to the Audrain County Relay for Life in memory of Coach Filbert.
Coach Filbert's influence is still felt throughout the Mexico community.
According to Walt Duffen, 1961 Graduate of MHS, Coach Filbert's influence went beyond basketball into life itself. " When I played for Coach I knew I was playing for a really good basketball coach and that if our team did what he said we had a chance to beat anybody we played," said Duffen. "But as the years went by I came to realize that Coach had taught me so much more than just basketball. Coach had a positive influence not only on his players, but all the students at MHS and the community as well. The Gary Filbert Classic gives us the opportunity to honor his memory and showcase the school and community that he dearly loved."
For George Huffman, owner of Pearl Motor Company who is a sponsor of the classic, the idea of honoring Coach Filbert is also a way of honoring his own father, Larry Huffman, who played for Coach Filbert.
"Having seen the respect my dad had for Coach Filbert, not just as his former coach but as a mentor and friend, I was happy to say yes when approached to help sponsor the Classic," said Huffman. "I think it is a great opportunity for us to showcase our community and school."
Game 1: California Lady Pintos (6-2) vs. Silex Lady Owls (4-1), 11 a.m. tipoff
The Silex Lady Owls are a "defense first" team that has not allowed any team to score more than 43 points against them thus far.
The team has already notched a first place finish in the Winfield Tournament earlier in the season.
Players to watch for the Lady Owls are Leah Miller, who leads the team in both scoring and rebounding, and Brittany Howard, a top scorer and second on the team in steals.
Both Miller and Howard were named to the All-Tournament team in the Winfield Tournament.
"Getting the opportunity to play in the shootout at Mexico is a great experience for our girls," said Silex Coach Ryan Flanagan. "They are looking forward to facing a fiercely competitive California team. We are excited to have the opportunity to play and look forward to competing."
No information was available for the California Lady Pintos.
Game 2: California Pintos (4-3) vs. Steelville Cardinals (1-4), 12:45 p.m. tipoff
The players to watch for the Steelville Cardinals are Shawn Ryerson, Adam Volner, and Ethan Ruch. Coach Matt Thomas said that the Cardinals are "looking forward to participating."
The California Pintos are led by a senior class including Dylan Albertson, Jerry Lutz, Austin Gump, Cole George, Conner George, and Burke Brant. Returning juniors include Jaden Barr and Damon Shaw.
Barr has started since his freshman season and was an All-Conference and All-District performer last year.
The Pintos will look for contributions from juniors Drew Norton, Dylan Norton and sophomore Landon Mouse.
Game 3: Mexico Lady Bulldogs (4-4) vs. Steelville Lady Cardinals (3-2), 2:30 p.m. tipoff
The hometown Lady Bulldogs will be led by three players.
Junior Karen Baker averages 10 points per game, thanks to a 52 percent shooting average from beyond the 3-point line. Senior Kelli Ingrum, a post player who averages 7 points per game on a 49 percent shooting average, averages five rebounds per game. Danielle Baumgartner, a junior post player averaging 7 points per game, also averages five rebounds per game.
The importance of being the "home team" is not lost on MHS Lady Bulldogs Coach Ed Costley. "The opportunity for us to have this basketball event is valuable to our community to show the history we have here at Mexico," said Costley. "Having teams come from all areas of the state to participate in a day of basketball is a moment to enjoy this game and to display the great facilities Mexico has and to honor Coach Filbert and the passion he had for this game."
According to Steelville Lady Cardinals Coach Seth Collins, his team is improving every game.
Players to watch for the Lady Cardinals are post players Kourtney Carey and Emily Whittaker. Madison Roper has been a top scorer throughout the season thus far.
"We are looking forward to playing in the tournament," said Collins. "It will be a long trip for us, but we are excited to see some teams that we are not used to playing."
Game 4: Community R-6 Trojans (5-1) vs. Greenfield Wildcats (6-1), 4:15 p.m. tipoff
Coach Bob Curtis and the Community R-6 Trojans "greatly appreciate the opportunity to play in this event as it gives us an opportunity to play in a top notch facility 10 minutes from Community High School."
Players to watch for the Trojans include Conner Brooks, Clay Thebeau, and Lane Thebeau.
No information was available for the Greenville Wildcats.
Game 5: Mexico Bulldogs (4-3) vs. Mt. Vernon Mountaineers (4-4), 6 p.m. tipoff
For MHS Bulldogs Coach Brennan Scanlon, the classic is about "honoring one the best basketball coaches ever in the state of Missouri and the founder of the Missouri Basketball Coaches Association." Scanlon continues that he and the team are "proud to be able to host such a great event."
The MHS Bulldogs will look to juniors Cole Jaramillo, as leading scorer, and Skylar Harrington, second leading scorer, leader in assists, and leader in rebounds, to be the mainstays in its efforts during the classic.
The Mt. Vernon players to watch include junior Chandler Myers, who averages 22 points and 10 rebounds per game. Juniors Braden Adams and Luke Call both average 12 points per game.
Game 6: Columbia Rock Bridge Bruins (6-1) vs. St. Joe Lafayette Fighting Irish (6-1), 7:45 p.m.
The Rock Bridge Bruins are led by senior Jackson Dubinski, a three year varsity player and two year starter, who is the team's second leading scorer and leader in assists and steals. Junior Ryan Kreklow, a two year varsity player, is team's leading scorer.
No information was made available for the St. Joe Lafayette Fighting Irish.