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
  • AARON SNYDER: Five Teams? Pretty Kool

    If these unseasonably cool July mornings aren’t enough to have your mind on the fast track to football, maybe some Kool Hits news will help.

    July 31, 2014

  • Golf scramble will benefit Paramount Arts Center

    Paramount Woman’s Association’s seventh annual Ladies’ Golf Scramble is scheduled for Aug. 11 at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 30, 2014

  • Kittens call on Ingram

    Somebody had to follow Dave Miller.
    Scott Ingram is pleased to be the coach to fill the vacancy for the man who built Ashland Blazer softball into a perennial state Top 25 program. The Kittens have won the 16th Region championship every year since 2009.

    July 29, 2014

  • 0729kypgaJr0034.jpg Golfers go out with an encore

    Evan Goble said he “wasn’t completely ready for a playoff” on Monday.
    That didn’t stop him from holing two pressure-packed playoff putts to win the 13-14-year-old division of the final event of the summer on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour at Bellefonte Country Club.
     

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • EKC Grid-O-Rama set for Aug. 15-16

    The annual Eastern Kentucky Conference football scrimmage contests are set for Aug. 15-16 at Fleming County and Raceland.

    July 29, 2014

  • Holliday embraces high expectations

    As Marshall football prepares to return to the gridiron to begin fall practice Aug. 4, this season the program finds itself labeled something that it has not been in many years: a favorite.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mobley, Jude key for EKU

    Eastern Kentucky coach Dean Hood has revamped the Colonels’ defense in hopes of containing OVC opponents’ spread offenses.

    July 29, 2014

  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo