Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

November 1, 2012

EAST KENTUCKY BASKETBALL HISTORY: City of Paintsville has celebrated two basketball state championships

PAINTSVILLE — The Inez Indians had been a power in the 15th Region and the state of Kentucky since the 1930s. They had won four straight 15th Region titles (1934-37) with a state tournament runner-up finish (1937), following Paintsville’s appearance in 1933.

Then the Indians followed up that success with three more 15th Region titles (1939-41) and a state title for the small school in 1941. The 1941 Inez team placed all five of their starters on the Kentucky All-Star team who would play the Indiana All-Stars in their annual summer series. Inez had returned to the state tournament in 1946, but had suffered somewhat of a drought until 1954. The 1953-54 season was predicted to favor Inez and they were picked to win the region that year. However, they lost their first game of the year to Phelps, 75-70, and it appeared that a few other teams might walk away with the 15th Region title. Led by 5-foot-8 guard Herbie Triplett and 6-2 forward Billy Ray Cassidy, Inez was able to recover, come together and complete an impressive season. They suffered a second loss to in January, after a scheduling conflict had them playing in the Louisville Invitational Tournament and in Lexington on the same day.

They beat Louisville Flaget in the LIT, then traveled to Lexington where they lost to Henry Clay later that evening. The “Iron Men of Inez” also had some close district and region games, defeating Paintsville in the last regular season game of the season by one, 68-67, and in the 59th District championship game 66-58, then defeating Pikeville High School 82-80 in the 15th Region finals. Inez entered the 1954 Kentucky State Tournament with a 32-2 record.

In the first round of the tournament the Indians easily defeated Central City, 72-57. In their next game they were matched up against another mountain team, Dilce Combs, from Perry County. Dilce Combs gave the Indians a game, and Inez was only leading by eleven at halftime. The lead was cut to as few as seven, with just a few minutes left in the game before Cassady and Omar Fannin led Inez on a 8-1 run to end the game. Inez won 64-52. Cassady had 22 and Fannin had 16. In the semi-finals Inez tangled with Adair County. It was described as a “hard-fought” affair, with Inez holding onto a slim three-point lead going into the last quarter. Orville Blankenship made a free throw with a little under a minute to go and Inez hung on to win, 70-88, to advance to the state finals. Inez faced Newport, who defeated Ashland in the other semi-final by four. The only lead that Newport had was 2-0 to start the game. It was close throughout with Inez holding on to win the 1954 state championship by eight, 63-55.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0420chattin0397.jpg Pole vaulters conquer wind in Chattin

    For obvious reasons, pole vaulting records and windy conditions don’t go together.
    Raceland’s Connor Messer and Fairview’s Morgan McIntyre raised the bar anyway at Saturday’s Ernie Chattin Memorial Invitational.
    Despite a windy challenge — especially for Messer — on the hilltop at Ashland Athletic Complex, both athletes set new pole vault marks for the 11-year-old meet and received Outstanding Performance awards.

    April 20, 2014 5 Photos

  • 0415eastSB0170 copy.jpg Stock soaring for East eighth-grader Fouts

    With a name like Montana, you just have to go big.
    Six-foot eighth-grader Montana Fouts isn't a big talker, but when it comes to the business of softball, her skills convey a loud and clear message.
    The East Carter pitcher is making herself a can't-pass-up commodity with her flawless throwing form and sizzling speed.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lewis snaps 4-game skid, beats Ashland, 2-1

    Question: What four-game Lewis County losing streak?

    Answer: the one the Lions snapped Saturday by knocking off visiting Ashland, 2-0, in the third annual Lewis County Autism Awareness game.

    April 20, 2014

  • HIGH SCHOOL ROUNDUP: Hensley fires 2nd no-no in 2 days, Kittens split

    Ashland junior Megan Hensley no-hit Portsmouth West on Saturday, one day after dealing a perfect game, as the Kittens beat the Lady Senators 16-0 in five innings at the Valley of Thunder at Symmes Valley.

    April 19, 2014

  • west.JPG Streak snapped: Comets end 40-game losing streak to Raiders

    Nineteen years and 40 games between East Carter and West Carter have passed since the Comets have beaten the Raiders.
    Montell Jordan’s “This Is How We Do It” was the No. 1 song the last time West got a win over East.
    The visiting Comets ended almost 20 years of futility against the Raiders in dominating fashion on Friday night, defeating East Carter, 8-0.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Williams steps down as Lady Vikings coach

    Jen Williams did not make this decision lightly.

    April 19, 2014

  • HIGH SCHOOL ROUNDUP: Hensley spins perfect game

    Ashland’s Megan Hensley fired a perfect game and drove in the only runs of the game with a two-run homer as the Kittens topped Upper Arlington (Ohio) 2-0 in the Valley of Thunder at Symmes Valley on Friday night.

    April 19, 2014

  • 0418ashlandBB0268.jpg One-run fun: Ashland on smiling side of close game vs. East

    After opening the season with a 2-1 victory, Ashland has had a hard time cracking the close game code.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418_Ash_vs_JC_0003.JPG Hensley rises, fires as Kittens win big

    Johnson Central softball coach Jason Hurt’s already high opinion of Ashland junior Megan Hensley rose to another level Thursday night.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 041714_29a.jpg Diller, Mackie spark Raceland

    It is time for the 16th Region to take notice of the Raceland softball team.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos