Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

March 7, 2013

EAST KENTUCKY BASKETBALL HISTORY: Rivalry put aside to celebrate state championship



Paintsville did go on to the Final Four, they went beyond it, all the way to the 1996 state championship. The Tigers shocked many people in the state by defeating Owensboro by two in overtime in the first round; beating Allen County-Scottsville by two in the quarterfinals; shocking tournament favorite Lexington Catholic by 24 in the Final Four; and defeating a strong Ashland Tomcat team in the state title game by 18.

Now, I have to switch gears as a writer. I have just given you the background to our rivalry with the Magoffin County Hornets during the 1996 season. I did that to tell you the following story on rivals coming together.

Celebrating a state championship is unlike any sports celebration that I have ever been a part of. Lots of hugs and lots of crying. It was just a very emotional time with your teammates and friends. By the state title game many of the people from Eastern Kentucky had been behind our team, supporting us and cheering us on. I had noticed that a few of the Magoffin County players (Jason Robinette, Grayson Smith, and Chris Russell) sitting in seats close to the basket during our quarterfinal game against Allen County-Scottsville. They were cheering us on, from our own student-section, with blue and white shirts on! I think one of them may have even had a Paintsville shirt on. For all of the battles that we had just been through and as rough as they had played us, it was quite a site to see those guys cheering us on! Grayson Smith later told of why they had decided to support us, “I saw and heard from many people how they hoped Paintsville would fall flat on their face. It felt only right to support Paintsville because it was the right thing to do. Not only for Paintsville but for East Kentucky.”

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos