Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

April 10, 2013

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



opposed the shift to Paintsville, whether rightly or wrongly, should not presuppose a ‘get even’ treatment when it comes to

the all-tournament team… Perhaps commissioner Ted Sanford should make a note of this situation when it comes time to hand

out reprimands for unsportsmanlike conduct.”

Principal Teater, obviously dismayed to have Paintsville portrayed in such a way by a newspaper, responded quickly. He wrote a letter to the Williamson Daily, which included the following, “I would suggest you get the facts before printing such nonsense. If you are so concerned about sportsmanship in Kentucky, then I suggest you make an honest effort to practice some yourself before you criticize others before you know the truth. The all tournament team was not picked by Paintsville, it was picked by the participating coaches. My final statement to you comes from Psalm 64:8 – So they shall make their own tongue to fall upon themselves: all that see them shall flee away.” Apparently, the matter was settled, nothing more was complained about, and the two schools continued to rotate the 15th Region Tournament for the next few years. The rivalry between the two schools, begun with that first game back in 1922, continued with much vigor.

From 1955-1974, the Tigers and Panthers played nineteen times, usually once each season. Paintsville won ten of those games and Pikeville nine. The two teams only played each other in the post season twice. Both games were 15th Region championship games. In the 1957 15th Region finals the Panthers won by six. In 1974, Paintsville lost again, this time by four, even with Senior Bill Mike Runyon having an outstanding game with 34 points and 6 rebounds.

Over the next twenty-five years the two teams played at least once a year and neither team gained much of an advantage over the other. One of the most memorable games between these two old rivals occurred on January 22, 1988. In that game, Paintsville’s “Mad Bomber” – senior Keith Adkins, had the game of his high school career. Adkins scored 53 points in a 101-66 blowout of the Panthers at Paintsville’s Memorial Gym. The 6’ 2” guard hit 11 of 16 three-point shots, and was 11 of 12 from the free throw line as he scored a then school record in points. The teams met six times in the post-season, with Pikeville’s only win coming in the first round of the 1992 15th Region Tournament. Since 2000, the two rivals have played twenty-two times, and each team has won 11 games. They haven’t met in the post season since Paintsville pulled out a close one in the semi-finals of the 1998 15th Region Tournament 64-60. The rivalry, which began in 1922, continues to this day. One-hundred-fifty games have been played between the two schools, the most Paintsville has played against any one opponent, and Pikeville has a slight advantage in the win column with 77, while Paintsville has won 73.

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