The Scottsburg-Seymour rivalry developed into one of the most intense rivalries in Indiana high school basketball during the late 1960s through the 1970s.
Fueled by two highly intense coaches, some of the most dedicated fans in the state and a couple of legendary teams, the rivalry left both communities with bitter feelings for years.
In 1969, Jim Barley coached the Scottsburg Warriors to an undefeated regular season but was nearly knocked off by Seymour in the regular season. Scottsburg survived a 110-104 overtime victory and then engaged in another dogfight with the Owls to win the Seymour Sectional weeks later.
In 1970, Lloyd E. “Barney” Scott coached Seymour to an undefeated regular season, and the two rivals went to war again in the regular season with Seymour surviving a 61-59 thriller. In the sectional, the third-ranked Owls won a barn-burner 80-79 against Scottsburg.
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Barley and Scott are in the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame and to this day are widely respected as two of the best coaches in the history of Indiana high school basketball.
Both men coached in an era of when teams scored more than 100 points several times during the regular season. It was a fun time to watch Indiana high school basketball.
Both men were outstanding basketball players during their playing days.
Barley was at Marion in the early 1950s, where he became the first Marion player ever to score 1,000 career points. After high school, Barley played college basketball for the Indiana Hoosiers.
Scott was an outstanding player at Jeffersonville and in 1945 led Jeffersonville to a rare feat that has never been matched. That year in the regular season, Jeff beat Evansville Bosse, the eventual Indiana state champ that season. They also beat Louisville Male, the state champ of Kentucky that season.
From 1967 to 1978, Scottsburg and Seymour played each other 11 times in the Seymour Sectional in front of packed crowds.
Both Barley and Scott retired relatively young from coaching. Scott retired in 1974 at 47, and Barley retired in 1978 at age 44. Both also went out with big wins. The year Scott retired, Seymour won the sectional and finished with a 20-5 record. Barley left as a regional winner in 1978 with a 22-5 record.
Both men left their programs in good shape, as well. The year after their retirements, both schools won regionals.
Jim Barley still lives in Scottsburg with his wife, Mary. Barney Scott passed away in 2013.
Mike Barrett is a local resident with an interest in history. His Backroads Indiana columns appear regularly in The Tribune. Send comments to email@example.com.