A Century of Ashland Arrow Basketball
The Early Years
1907 - 1918
NCO Years
Independent Era
Cardinal Conference
1960 - 1986
Ohio Heartland
1987 - 2002
2003 - 2023


100th Year of Ashland Basketball

The 2007-2008 Season is the 100th year of Ashland Basketball. The Orange and Black have won 1123 games and lost 734 times (60.5%). AHS teams won the Northern Central Ohio League 11 times, the Cardinal Conference 10 times and the Ohio Heartland Conference twice. In tournament play they have won the Sectional or District 18 times, and four times they have advanced to State. In 1932, 1936, 1937, and 1941 the State Tournament was the Sweet 16. The entire history is located on the website: www.centuryarrowsbkb.com.

Dec. 22, 2007   The Century Celebration of AHS Basketball

The 100th AHS team in throwback uniforms entered Arrow Arena through an Alumni tunnel which had 7 decades of players and coaches. That afternoon Dave Honaker organized two Alumni games: (1970-80’s) and (1990-2000’s). The proceeds went to Mark Hamilton, the single season assist leader (1971 grad), and a 54-year old with a liver transplant then recovering in the Cleveland Clinic. A social gathering in the AHS Library attracted several hundred faithful followers from the Arrow Nation. The top scorers for day were: Greg Emmons (36 pts. in one Alumni game) and Taylor Housewright (18 pts. in the Varsity loss to Willard). 

5 Years Ago     Dec 20, 2002   Ashland 64, Mansfield Senior 53

Arrow Arena had three prominent spectators: Matt Underwood, Tim Seder, and Mark Hess, the 6-6 star with an ankle injury. Nevertheless, the Arrows ended their 15-game losing streak to the big Red and White and the Tygers 49-game OHC winning streak. The Arrows were led by Josh Garn (16), Shaun Kyser (16), Greg Emmons (15), and Adam Hawks (10), and they went on to win the final OHC title.

5 Years Ago 2002-2003     Won 19 Lost 6

Coach Chris Stokes’ squad won Sectional and District titles, and they reached the Regional Finals or “Elite Eight” in the State. Only the Earl Thomas-led 1932 team went farther. The team had a group of seniors known as the “Excellent Eight.” A trio of MVPs Greg Emmons, Mark Hess, and Josh Garn led them, and the other seniors were: Shaun Kyser, Bryan Hall, Josh Bull, Darnell McGhee, and Adam Hawks.

10 Years Ago 1997-98        Won 7, Lost 14

Zach Zarnstorff was the only returning letterman. The in-experienced Arrows managed only two OHC wins against Marion Harding. The most memorable shot of the season was Oliver Highman's buzzer beater for a 42-40 win over the Presidents. Jason Hess was the MVP and the leading scorer with 246 points. It was Coach Jody Peters final AHS season, and then he returned to his hometown Medina.

15 Years Ago 1992-93        OHC Champs & Sectional Champs

The first season under Coach Jody Peters produced the first OHC basketball championship. Bryan Murvine finished with 455 season points and 986 career points. At that time both were fifth spots on the all-time AHS scoring lists.  Randy Harding was co-MVP with Bryan, while both made the All-OHC first team. The team finished 15-7 before losing to Lima Senior in the District at Bowling Green. Tim Seder earned his 3rd letter.

20 Years Ago 1987-88     Won 6, Lost 16

Steve Petee closed the season with a weekly race to the all-time career scoring record. After passing Dave Brubaker, Dave Wait, Rosey Robinson, Ken Sidle, and Max Messner Steve finished second to Dick Messner 1012 to 1114 points. His 493 total for the season was second only to Ken Sidle's 510 in 1953-54. It was the first year for the three-point line at 19 feet 9 inches in OHSAA basketball. Steve Petee hit 41 of 102 treys.

25 Years Ago 1982-83    Won 7, Lost 14

It was the 11th and final season for Jim Barr, who holds the longest tenure for an AHS head basketball coach. Seniors Chris Stokes (355 pts) and Jon Walter (277 pts) were first and second team All-Cardinal Conference.

30 Years Ago 1977-78    CC Champs and District Runner-Up

The last great AHS team 16-7 under Coach Jim Barr! First team All-CCers Tom Marquette (307 pts) and Bruce Bille (305 pts) led the Arrows to the District Finals at BG. Only a 66-65 loss to Findlay prevented the first trip to the Sweet 16 Regional in 31 years (1947). The other starters were: Curt Cooper, Larry Coombs, and Jack Purtell.

35 Years Ago 1972-73     CC Champs (8th in 11 years)

New coach Jim Barr brought the 6th CC championship to AHS. The starting lineup was: 1st team All-CC Joe Burns (267 pts) and 2nd team John Marquette (216 pts). The other starters were Bob Beer (214 pts), Steve Strine (152), and present-day AHS assistant coach Doug Hess (143 pts). Joe Burns ended his career with 33 points in thrilling overtime loss 66-65 to Mansfield Senior in the Ashland College gym.

35 Years Ago 1972-73      Ashland 51, Madison 40

The Arrows won their six-straight Cardinal Conference championship and their 12th consecutive win over the Rams. Doug Hess led the A’s with 16 points, while Bob Beer and Steve Strine tossed in 10-points apiece. Cheering on the bench was student manager Mike Hurst, who is still a faithful fan today. Also, Al Vild drew a weekly basketball cartoon in the Times-Gazette. The longtime AHS teacher is now retired.

40 Years Ago 1967-68    CC Champs and Sectional Champs

MVP and 1st team All-CC Bill Newkirk (440 pts) led the A's in Coach Sam Marchio's final season. Mark Humrichouser (220 pts) and Rod Repschlaeger (203) were, also, top scorers. The A’s reeled off 13 straight wins before falling Lima Senior in the District.

40 Years Ago 1967-68   The Modern Defensive Record Ashland 39, Madison 9

Madison Coach Tom Winterbottom used a stall to stop the Arrows in the Sectional Tournament. It failed, and Center Tom Newkirk scored 20 points to lead the A's to their 12th straight victory. The nine points remains an Ashland defensive record.

45 Years Ago 1962-63    Cardinal Conference Champs

The Arrows won their 1st CC crown, and Jim Bear and Larry Seidner earned 1st team All-CC honors. Bear led the team in scoring (295 pts) and rebounds (168). Bruce Stefan (219), Seidner (217), and Jim Springer (184) supported Coach Sam Marchio's first AHS championship. He introduced Arry Arrow to AHS basketball.

50 Years Ago 1957-58     Won 11, Lost 8

Coach George Valentine's squad won 8 of the first 10 games, but the Arrows faced three teams in Ohio's Sweet Sixteen. Bob Lee was the surprise-leading scorer with 344 points. Jim Diffendorfer scored 301 and moved into the all-time AHS Top Ten scorers with 747 points. Jon Miller led the team with 239 rebounds.

50 Years Ago   Feb 27, 1958      The Junior High Cage Carnival

Four teams competed at McDowell Auditorium: the favorite Dick Wolfe's Edison squad, Osborn coached by Bob Bingham, Taft coached by Del Noble, and St. Edwards under Father Tom Zeisig. While the dramatic shot of the evening was Jim Nordstrom’s buzzer beater for a Taft win, Osborn’s 38-10 upset of the unbeaten Edison Inventors stole the show. Bruce Smalley led the East Main St. squad with 16 points.

50 Years Ago 1957-58   Ashland 77, Elyria 75

On Fri. night the A’s lost to Wooster for the first time in 17 years. The General’s leading scorer with 26 points was Bill Musselman, who went on to coach Ashland College. But on Sat. the Arrows faced the unbeaten (13-0) and 8th ranked (UPI) Elyria Pioneers before a sellout crowd (1500) in the Cottage Street gym. The lead changed hands 17 times and went into overtime. After Bob Lee’s 32 points Jim Diffendorfer’s driving lay-up with 16 seconds left gave the Arrow’s the final lead for memorable victory.

55 Years Ago 1952-53       Won 16, Lost 5 Sectional Champs

Ken Sidle set the single game record with 38 points against Lima Central and the season record at 450. Meanwhile Boosters Club Pres. Ed Farris signed up 1500 members, many of whom rode the excursion train to the Toledo District. However Ken’s 26 points were not enough to stop the Sandusky Blue Streaks, and Arrows fell one game short of the Regional Tournament.

55 Years Ago 1952-53      Ashland 58, Mansfield Senior 50    

C.E. Taylor’s squad broke a six-year jinx at the Marion Coliseum in the Sectional semi-finals. Ken Sidle scored 17, Jim Roseboro 16, and Gene Sidle 14 to tame the Tygers on the tournament trail for the first since 1947. Jim Dilgard, Bill Cooper, and freshman Max Messner supported the glorious effort. It was one of the joyful nights in Ashland basketball history, and the next night the Arrows beat Bucyrus for the Sectional title.

60 Years Ago 1947-48       Won 20 Lost 2

Dick Messner was first team All-Ohio for the second year in a row. The team won the most games in AHS history. The lettermen were: Dave Burns, Dick Cooper, Dick Johnson, Cliff Hurst, Phil Lersch, Dick Patton, Bob Keener, Tony Glasser, and Jack Smith. The famous Adolph Rupp of the Kentucky Wildcats was the speaker at the cage banquet.

60 Years Ago 1947-48    Ashland 59, Columbus North 54

Cloyce Taylor’s Tots won their 18th of 19 games for a new regular season school record. With his 8-1 football team Ashland claimed the second best combined record (26-2) in the state. Only the formidable, unbeaten Middletown Middies were better.

65 Years Ago 1942-43        District Runner-Up

Junior Ted Jacob broke Vince Barr's records with 34 points against Bucyrus and 267 points for the season. The A's finished second in the North Central Ohio League and the Bellevue District tournament. The other starters were: Jack Harris (183 pts), Dusty Darr (109), Paul Yeater (97), Jim Cross (61).

70 Years Ago 1937-38     Won 3, Lost 14

New Head Coach John Longley inherited an in-experienced squad from the State Tournament team that had graduated everyone but lone returning letterman Ed Snook. He led the team in scoring with 129 points, but Phil Smith had the best single game high with 16 points against Mt. Vernon. Freshman Bob Howell would earn 4-letters, and sophomore Vince Barr would set the school's career scoring record before they were graduated.

70 Years Ago 1937-38     Ashland 42, Shelby 16

Class A Sectional Tournament at Sandusky both team with only two wins on the season.
AHS had lost to them on a last second shot earlier in the season, and the A’s were on a nine game losing streak, the longest in the 28 years of AHS basketball. However Phil Smith led the Orange and Black in a blowout with 14 points, and senior high scorer Ed Snook threw in nine points. When Bob Howell went down on his wrist in the second quarter, his sub Vince Barr came off the bench and added 5 points.

75 Years Ago 1932-33        NCO Champions

The North Central Ohio League champions for the third straight year. Earl Thomas finished his fine career with his 4th letter, first-team All-Ohio honors, and the career record with his four season totals of 27, 107, 205, & 193. Nick Dolby (176), Richard Brindle (134) and Paul Hazen (50) earned their second letters, while the fifth starter James Jesson (112 pts) got his first "A".

80 Years Ago 1927-28        NCO Champions

Coach Sid Boyd's "Speedboys" won the NCO with a 4-1 record. Elmer Fisher won the NCO scoring crown with 57 points. Fisher (126 pts) and James Donley were the co-captains. Paul "Beanie" Johnson was the second leading scorer with 89 points. Dick Paxton and Earl Kirkpatrick were the other starters.

75 Years Ago 1927-28        Ashland 42, Bucyrus 40

In a battle for the North Central Ohio championship 35 fouls were called and five players fouled out. Capt Elmer Fisher (14), Dick Paxton (12), Earl Kirkpatrick (8), and Ritchie Bittinger (8) scored all the A’s points. Kirkpatrick received a gash on his cheek, and Bucyrus’ Monnett, an all-NCO halfback, was blocked in a “football manner” away from the basket. When they finished the game there were no available subs on the bench. Coach Sid Boyd praised everyone on his team for standing their ground against the Redmen and deserving the championship.

85 Years Ago 1922-23     Won 8, Lost 4

The A's were led to a second place NCO finish by third-year letterman Howard Grindle, who scored 109 of their 259 points. Leo Grimes and Stanley Baney earned their second letters.

90 Years Ago 1917-18    Won 4, Lost 5

After defeating the Alumni on Christmas Eve Coach Paul Ganyard's squad split games with local rival Mansfield. While Marshall Mohn was the leading scorer, the highest scoring game was the 46-21 win over an Ashland College squad.

95 Years Ago 1912-13     Won 4, Lost 4

The Orange and Black defeated Bucyrus at the YMCA gym for their first win. Center Russell Sonners led the team with 7 field baskets. Luther Frentz and Fred Urie had four apiece. The A’s went on to split games with Wooster and the YMCA. The other starters were Harry Matthews and Merle Lamprecht, Senior class Pres. and football MVP.

100 Years Ago 1907-08

The first team had no gym, and no coach. Their colors were Red & White, and they played only homes against the Ashland 8th grade and an Ashland College teams. A School Board member (probably Board Pres. P.A. Myers) rented the West Main St Armory for the games, but the team had no practice facility. The first game was Tues. January 21, 1908 and the 8th grade won 12 to 6. Leo Lersch scored all six AHS points, and their Captain was Austin Edwards.


Researched by Paul R. Dienstberger, Web Design by Cathy Buscher
All rights reserved. Last modified- Friday, December 1, 2023 9:12 AM
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