ASHLAND — Brice Thornbury, the architect of Boyd County’s first boys’ 16th Region basketball championship 40 years ago this coming spring, died Monday in Birmingham, Ala. He was 66.
Thornbury led the Lions to their first regional championship in 1973 behind the play of Phil Pratt and Davey Wooten who each went on to become coaches at Boyd County.
Boyd County defeated rival Ashland twice in the postseason, knocking off the Tomcats on their home floor in the 64th District championship and then repeating the feat the following week at Morehead State’s Wetherby Gymnasium with a 73-64 victory. Those wins over Ashland are significant because they were the first for Boyd County in the series.
The Lions were eliminated in the opening round of the State Tournament but the seed had been sown for the program. He coached Boyd County from 1970 to 1974 but his 26-7 season in 1973 stands out as the best. After going 11-13 in his first season in 1970, Thornbury had four consecutive winning seasons – 15-10, 20-12, 26-7 and 14-11. He had an overall record of 86-53.
Thornbury was a tremendous basketball player as a young man while attending Fairview High School. He graduated from Fairview in 1964 and was a charter member of the Fairview Hall of Fame in 2006.