The 13th Region Basketball Hall of Fame selected its first class and introduced them during halftime of the boys and girls regional championship games on Saturday and Monday.
The list of hall of famers is very impressive and includes several Bell Countians.
Lary Pursifull, Lone Jack, Bell County
Pursiful scored over 27 points per game during his senior season at Bell County in 1957-58 and was a first team all-state pick. He was a third-team all-state selection after his junior year at Lone Jack playing for a 27-2 Mustang club. He went on to an outstanding career playing for Adolph Rupp’s powerhouse early 60’s UK basketball squads. He averaged 19.1 points per game to earn first team All-SEC honors as a senior in 1961-62 and finished his Wildcat career with 946 points.
Lawrence Buell, Middlesboro
Buell was a tremendous leaper who played on several outstanding teams, including Middlesboro’s last state tournament team in 1983. He was second team all-state as a junior and first team all-state as a senior in 1986 and played on the Kentucky All-Star team that summer. He also received a McDonald’s All-American Award that year. He finished his MHS career as the school’s all-time leading scorer with 1568 points and 851 rebounds.
Fred Bishop, Pineville
A 1973 graduate of PHS, Bishop is considered one of the most outstanding athletes of the modern era. He averaged 22.5 points and 16.5 rebounds during his high school career. He was a part of the 1973 Mountain Lion basketball team that reached the 13th Region championship game for the first time in school history. Bishop received a football scholarship to the University of Kentucky where he was a member of the 1976 SEC Co-Champs and Peach Bowl team.
Rodney Woods, Lone Jack
Woods was a standout player for the Mustangs during the 1970s who went to play in college for the University of Tennessee.
Woods became more famous as a high school coach at Powell Valley, Corbin and Wayne County. Woods has compiled over 700 career wins and is in his 25th season coaching at Wayne County High School, whom he has led to six state tournaments, including a Sweet Sixteen runner-up finish to Pleasure Ridge Park in 1989.
Harold Combs, Bell County
Combs was one of eastern Kentucky’s most successful coaches and led Bell County to 13th Region titles in 1977 and 1980.
J.D. Strange, Pineville, Bell County
Strange served as Pineville’s boys head coach from the year 2000 through 2018, compiling 231 wins — he most in school history. His teams 13th Region All ‘A’ championships in 2008, 2009, 2016 and 2017; a 51st District championship in 2007 and four SEKC championships.
His high school coaching career started at Bell County where he coached the Bobcats from 1984 - 1993. Strange’s Bobcats win 184 games, five 51st District championships and three 13th Region runner-ups.
Strange also coached at Allen County Scottsville from 1993-1999 where he won 91 games. He led Allen County Scottsville to a 29-win season in 1996 that included a 4th Region championship. He also coached Knox Central in 1999-2000.
He has been the secretery/treasurer of the 13th Region Boys Basketball Coaches Association for the past 14 years and was also a 10-year member of the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches board of directors.
David Thompson, Pineville
Thompson was inducted into the 13th Region Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor. He taught at PHS for 42 years and was the official statistician for basketball team from 2001 until 2018 and was part of the 51st District Championship team in 2007 as well as 13th Region All ‘A’ championship teams in 2008, 2009, 2016 and 2017.
Glenn Peace, Bell County
Peace was inducted into the 13th Region Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor. No one has supported their team like Peace has supported the Bobcats. He has seen every Bell County High School game since 1951, with the exception of a few games he missed while following his sons colligiate basketball career in Georgia.
He has also attended every away Bell County game from 1951 through 2016.
Sheb Stewart, Bell County
Another die-hard Bobcats sports fan, Stewart was inducted into the 13th Region Basketball Hall of Fame as a contributor. Stewart has compiled a scrapbook with box scores and press clippings from every single Bell County basketball game from the time he was high school to the present.
Dudley Hilton, Bell County
Hilton is famous for his work as a football coach where he led the Bobcats to a pair of state championships. He was inducted in the the 13th Region Basketball Hall of Fame for his work behind the scenes as a supporter of girls basketball in Bell County.
Here’s the complete list of 13th Region Hall of Fame selections:
Wah Wah Jones — Harlan
Phil Cox — Cawood
Charles Thomas — Harlan
Larry Pursiful – Lone Jack, Bell County
Richie Farmer — Clay County
Nick Sanford — Cawood
Lawrence Buell — Middlesboro
Frank Selvy — Corbin
Tony Pietrowski — Corbin
Terry Mills — Knox Central
Rodney Woods — Lone Jack
Ray Mills — Clay County
Fred Bishop — Pineville
Bobby McWIlliams — Barbourville
Larry Gritton Jr. — Oneida Baptist
Bobby Keith — Clay County
Joe Gilley — Harlan
Mike Jones — Cawood, Jackson County, Harlan, Harlan County
Billy Hicks — Evarts, Harlan, Corbin
John D. Wilson — Cawood, Red Bird
Dinky Phipps — Barbourville, Lynn Camp
Harold Combs — Bell County
J.D. Strange — Bell County, Knox Central, Pineville
Nick Denes — Corbin
Don Bingham — Knox Central
Luther Blanton — Harlan County
David Thompson — Pineville
Stanley Abner — Clay County
Ray Canady — Knox Central
Gerty Stewart — Barbourville
Scott Smith — North Laurel
Paul Pietrowski — Corbin
Glenn Proffitt — South Laurel
Glenn Peace — Bell County
Troy Martin — North Laurel/South Laurel
Sheb Stewart — Bell County
Neil Warren — London and Corbin
Keith Gabbard — Jackson County
Les Dixon — Corbin Times Tribune
John Henson — Harlan Daily Enterprise
Stan Lovett — Williamsburg radio
Kim Mays — Knox Central
Sarah Elliott — Jackson County
Shea Lunsford — Jackson County
Vonda Jackson — Clay County
Debbie Hoskins Green — Harlan
Lori Kluck — Cumberland
Tiffany Hamm — Harlan
Kim Jones — Clay County
Jaree Goodin — Corbin
Beth Bates — Williamsburg
Heather Taylor — Whitley County
Donnie Gray — Clay County
John Bond — Cumberland
Jim Rains — Whitley County, Williamsburg
Willard Farris — Corbin
E.R. “Doc” Gray — Harlan
Greg Parrett — Jackson County
Larry Anderson — Whitley County
Stan Lovett — Williamsburg
Troy Martin — North Laurel and South Laurel
Glenn Profitt — Lowe’s Sporting Goods, BSN
Scott Smith — Shiloh’s Roadhous, Steak ’N Shake
Neil Warren — Bojangles, Powerhouse Gym
Ted Cook — Cook Tire
Dudley Hilton — Bell County