Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

April 10, 2013

EAST KENTUCKY BASKETBALL HISTORY:Paintsville and Pikeville an early and dirty basketball rivalry



Principal Oran Teater wrote to KHSAA Commissioner Ted Sanford in December 1952, “We would like to enter a request for the 15th regional tournament here at Paintsville. We can seat over 2500 or 3000… We feel that Pikeville should alternate the affair with us on this end.” He went on to describe the advantages of playing in Paintsville, “We are located in the center of the Big Sandy area. Some facts about our location: 25 restaurants, 4 hotels, 1 motel. 42 miles – West Liberty, 21 miles – Inez, 42 miles – Pikeville, 32 miles – Louisa, 30 miles – Warfield, 36 miles – Wayland.” The new Paintsville gym was granted permission to hold the 15th Region Tournament with the understanding that the location would alternate and Pikeville would host the tournament in 1954.

The Pikeville administration opposed the move to Paintsville, and later made complaints to commissioner Sanford of Paintsville’s handling of the 1953 region tournament. This was alluded to in a letter from Principal Teater to Mr. Ted Sanford at the KHSAA on February 15, 1955, “Paintsville and surrounding areas are indeed grateful to you and the association for placing the 15th Region Tournament here. As to the complaints from Pikeville about our handling of the last tournament, I have only this to say, ‘If we made mistakes, and I am sure everyone does, they were honest ones, and that is more than the other schools in the region will say about the financial and other arrangements in the past at Pikeville.’ Again we thank you for being fair.”

  The animosity continued after the 1955 tournament held at Paintsville, John Olesky of the Williamson Daily News wrote the following editorial:

“Just a word about those “All-Tournament” selections at Paintsville. Only Ralph Gilliam of Pikeville made the team,

yet the Panthers were good enough to rout Meade Memorial 61-47. Don Jack Whitt and Jack Deskins both showed more

ability than at least two others we could name. Two were chosen from Paintsville and Meade Memorial… The fact that Pikeville

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