Sports Legends

Carr Creek High School - A Legend in Kentucky Basketball Sports Lore
as home of the infamous 1928 and 1956 high school basketball teams.

In 1928, the team from Carr Creek High School, dubbed the “barefoot boys” by big-city sportswriters, won the state championship among small schools and then played Ashland for the overall title. Though they lost in four overtimes-another epic and well-remembered game from Kentucky basketball lore - the Carr Creekers went on to play in a national tournament. The post office, previously designated Dirk, was actually renamed in their honor.

By 1956, the state basketball championship format had been changed so that all schools, no matter the size, competed in just one tournament. Local folks might have known that Carr Creek again had a special team, but most people assumed the state title would go to Wayland. It was led by “King” Kelly Coleman, who was regarded by many as the best high school player in the country-at a time when Oscar Robertson and Jerry West were in high school, too.

Coleman did set a single-game rebounding record that still stands against Carr Creek (28). But in the end, coach Morton Combs and his Knott County team prevailed, with Jim Calhoun holding Coleman to only 28 points - quite an accomplishment considering that he scored 68 in a game earlier in the tournament.

Carr Creek High School doesn't exist anymore; area teens now attend Knott Central. But as long as Kentucky's Sweet Sixteen state basketball tournament remains open to all, the '56 team will be inspiring dreams of glory at small schools throughout the state.

For more information: The 1956 Carr Creek championship team is the subject of Don Miller's book The Overtime Kids.

KET filmed the 50th Anniversary in 2006
Producer: Tom Thurman
Videographer: Michael Follmer
Audio: Brent Abshear
Editor: Otis Ballard

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