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


The 2011-2012 Season is the 104th year of AHS Basketball and the ninth season in the Ohio Cardinal Conference, which is our fourth league affiliation.  The Orange and Black has won 1154 games and lost 791 times (based on Sid Boyd‘s “green“ record book). AHS teams won the Northern Central Ohio League 11 times in 26 seasons with the best record of 145 wins and 66 losses for a 68.7 percentage. The Arrows won the Cardinal Conference 10 times in 27 seasons with the second best record of 166 wins and 120 losses for 58 percent. In 16 years of the Ohio Heartland Conference AHS won it twice with 67 victories and 69 loses for 49.3 percent, which was the 4th best record. All three leagues can be found on the web site at: www.3lhloh.com. During the eight years in the OCC the Arrows have a record of 41 wins and 69 losses. In tournament play they have won the Sectional or District 19 times. Four times they advanced to Columbus in 1932, 1936, 1937, and 1941, when the State was a Sweet Sixteen.

2011-12 Upsets: Ashland 76. Lexington 45 and Ashland 74, Mansfield Senior 66

The Arrow pulled off a huge upset of the undefeated (8-0) and State ranked (7th) Minutemen with double figures from Marquise Jones (15), Brandon Nardo (12), Drew Delaney (12), and Cooper Moretz (10). The A’s unloaded 10 treys, and the student body chanted “We Love Fralick” for second-year coach Tim Fralick.
Four weeks later the A’s knocked off the Tygers, who were the OCC leaders (7-2). Cooper Moretz, grandson of the famous scorer Vince Barr, scored 31 points and he made 19 of his 22 shots including 10 straight free throws in the last 2:04 minutes. Another famous grandson Greg Gallaway (Coach George Valentine) added 14 points to the second huge upset.

5 Years Ago 2006-2007 Season

Coach Rob Lavengood had one senior Jeremy Mooney and ten juniors. The competitive Arrows had eight wins, but eight losses were decided late in the 4th quarter. Four present day Ashland University football players formed the nucleus of the spirited A’s: MVP Gregg Berkshire, leading scorer Taylor Housewright, Tyler McFarlin, and Logan Kerr.

10 Years Ago 2001-2002 Season record 15-6 and OHC record 9-3 in 2nd place

Leading scorer Greg Emmons (318 pts) received the Times-Gazette MVP plaque from his Dad Randy, who had won the same award 20 years earlier. Mark Hess was first-team OHC with a 64.1 shooting percentage. Casey Cooke was the top free throw shooter (75.6%) and Danny Krispinsky led the team in assists (96).

15 Years Ago Feb. 7, 1997   Ashland 47, Lexington 44    The 1000th Victory

The milestone was enjoyed by 1628 screaming fans. Tim Bright held the OSU bound 6’7 Jon Sanderson to six points for three quarters. Tim scored 14 and he made 8 of 10 free throws in the 4th quarter. Bright, Ryan Emmons, Zach Zarnstorff and Brad Cutright made 16 of 20 fourth quarter free throws to upset the league leading Minutemen. The pre-game ceremonies included an introduction of past coaches.

20 Years Ago 1992    Mansfield Senior 60, Ashland 59

The Tygers ended Ashland’s tournament trail one-shot short for the seventh time in AHS history. Chad Honaker’s 21-points surpassed Dick Messner’s career record by four points with 1,118, and he moved passed Steve Petee on the single season record with 496 points. Nevertheless, Ken Sidle’s mark of 510 pints in 1953-54 remains the top performance.

25 Years Ago   1986-87 Season    Won 8 Lost 13

It was the 27th and final year of the Cardinal Conference. In the last CC game Coach Walt Harrop’s Arrows pulled off a dramatic upset of the Wooster Generals, who had cinched the league championship. All CC Mike Garbash scored 25 points in the final CC game at Arrow Arena. Garbash (296) and Steve Petee (291) battled to the final game for the A’s scoring title.

30 Years Ago 1982       Ashland 51, Coshocton 50

The Arrows moved into a 5-way tie for the Cardinal Conference lead on Craig Stone’s dramatic 21-foot bomb in the last four seconds. Stone and Rob Ward were inserted as starters when the leading scorers Dave Ramage and Chris Stokes were sidelined with leg injuries. Stone’s bomb from the corner was “nothing but net.”

30 Years Ago     1981-82 Season    Won 10 Lost 11

The 10th Cardinal Conference Championship and the third for Coach Jim Barr. In a balanced team effort Dave Ramage, Bill Seder, Jon Walter, Todd Wait, and Chris Stokes scratched out a 7-3 record for a co-championship with New Philly. Todd Wait was the leading scorer with 253 points. Bill Seder is now Crestview’s Superintendent. Jon Walter is an assistant Principal at AHS, and Chris Stokes was once the AHS head basketball coach.

35 Years Ago    1976-77 Season

The Arrow cagers finished third in the Cardinal Conference with a 7-5 record. Todd Bowie was the leading scorer with 266 points. Second team All-CC Bruce Bille scored 233 points. Nevertheless, a one-point tournament loss to Sandusky completed the first losing season in 12 years.

40 Years Ago    1971-72 Season 

Coach Doug McDonald’s final AHS team was 17-4 and the Cardinal Conference and Sectional champions. Randy Emmons was the leading scorer with 333 points with support from Sherm Jones (251), Rick Emmons (180), Fred Gorgas (161), and playmaker Bill Miller (132 pts and 79 assists). It was the fifth straight CC championship and 4th Sectional title in five years.

40 Years Ago 1971-72 Season   Won 17 Lost 4

The Arrows won a 5th straight Cardinal Conference Championship. In the District finals they defeated a Sandusky team led by Scott May of  Indiana Univ. fame. Randy Emmons was the CC Player of the Year with 333 pts. Sherm Jones, Rick Emmons, Fred Gorgas, and ball handler Bill Miller completed the starting line up for Coach Doug McDonald's 4th and final team at AHS. He finished with 7 titles (four Cardinal Conference and 3 Sectional crowns).

45 Years Ago 1966-67 Season                     

First Team All Cardinal Conference Jim Messner was the fourth brother of the highest scoring family in AHS basketball history. Two-time first-team All-Ohio Dick scored 1114 points. Detroit Lion pro football player Max scored 1012 points. Bob Messner lettered twice and scored 64 points. The youngest brother had 435 points. The four brothers scored 2625 points, and they earned 13 basketball letters.

50 Years Ago 1961-62 Season    McDowell Auditorium/Gymnasium 1927-62

It was the final season the A’s played in McDowell Auditorium/Gym after 35 seasons. The Orange and Black had 33 winning seasons and two losing years (the 37-38 and this final season). There were eight undefeated home seasons in the gym and two 10 and 0 years (47-48 Dick Messner’s senior year and 53-54 Ken Sidle’s senior year). The overall record was 245-63 for a 79.5 winning percentage. The highest scoring game was in 1956 when they beat Lima Central HS 104 to 80. In 1958 glass backboards were added to the gym. During the 1930’s the Red Lantern, a rivalry trophy between Ashland and Mansfield, hung in the hallway from the Coaches Office to the playing floor. It was the home court for a parade of great scorers like: Earl Thomas, Bob Sprague, Vince Barr, Ted Jacobs, Dick Messner, Bill Rogers, Ken Sidle, Max Messner, Dave Brubaker, Jim Diffendorfer, Dave Wait, and Bob Sweet.

50 Years Ago    1961-62 Season

The first year for Coach Sam Marchio started quickly with 4 wins in the first 5 games, but only one more win would happen afterward. However, every game was close losing by one to seven points except the second Dover game. The Arrows were led in scoring by Bruce Smalley (240 pts), Mike Humrichouser (194 pts), and Dan Stark (180 pts).

55 Years Ago 1956-57 Season   Won 15 Lost 4

Coach George Valentine produced the 3rd highest scoring team in AHS history.
The starting five: Dave Brubaker (397 pts), Jon Miller (301 pts), Jim Diffendorfer (242 pts), Mike Lindsey (155 pts), and Larry Brockway (133 pts) averaged 72 points per game. Although they defeated Mansfield Sr. High twice during the regular season, the Tygers upset them 46-44 in the first tournament game.

60 Years Ago   1951-52 Season   Won 18 Lost 3

The Arrows were ranked 11th in Ohio, and they beat everyone except the 8th ranked Mansfield Tyger's of Vern Hoffman. Hoping the 3rd times would be a charm; the Arrow lost the Sectional Finals 45-44 at Marion Coliseum on a last second basket by Mansfield's Bruce Bushnell. The starters' scoring totals were: seniors Dick Barr (342), Ron Bechtel (226), Russ Harpster (158), and Clair Howey (131). Junior Jimmy Roseboro scored 198 points.

65 Years Ago 1946-47 Season    Won 19 Lost 3

The most wins in AHS’s first 37-years, the Sandusky District champions, and Dick Messner, the first underclassman to make 1st team All-Ohio. The Findlay Trojans and the infamous flu bug ended the tournament trail in the BG Regional. Starting for Taylor’s Tots were: Dick Messner, Dave Burns, Don Drebus, Bob Harpster, and Dick Cooper. Another AHS team would not make it to the Sweet Sixteen until the 2001 team at the Toledo Regional.

65 Years Ago 1946-47 Season   Ashland 72, Port Clinton 31

The Taylor Tots set a Sectional/District record at the Sandusky District with the 72-points. The A's were led by junior, 1st team All-Ohio and All-District player, Dick Messner, who scored 27 points. Another All-District player Don Drebus had 13 points and Dave Burns had 14 points in the record setting night. Bob Harpster and Dick Cooper rounded out the starting five; as the A‘s went on to win the Sectional cage title.

70 Years Ago  1941-42 Season    Won 16  Lost 5

The A’s were North Central Ohio League co-champions with Marion. The entire starting five made all-NCO: Robert Semple (1st), Phil Stentz (2nd), and honorable mention to Clarence “Bud” Prentice, Charles Bartley, and Jim Shull. Mansfield defeated them in the District finals at Sandusky, and the Tygers were led by Paul Dietzel, a famous football coach at LSU in the 1950’s.

75 Years Ago   1936-37 Season    Won 17 Lost 3

NCO League Champions, District Champions, and State Semi-Finalists. Bob Sprague was the leading scorer with 216 points, and he set the NCO records with 141 pts. Bus Hockensmith and Virg Scobey were, also, first team all-NCO. It was the days of the center jump after each basket, and Scobey at 6’4” gave the A’s a huge advantage. The A’s set the NCO record with their 18th straight league win. The brilliant season ended in Columbus when Massillon defeated them midway through the Sweet 16. The famous Paul Brown coached the Tiger team.

80 Years Ago   1931-32 Season    Won 19 Lost 4

The Final Four in Columbus before losing to Columbus North in overtime! The team advanced the farthest in AHS history. Earl Thomas was Ashland’s first All-Ohioan and one of the great centers in AHS history. He held his opponent to 1.3 FGs per game in the 23 contests. Raymond “Nick” Dolby and Chuck Morrison were also first-team All-NCO.

85 Years Ago   1926-27 Season   Won 12 Lost 2

Coach Harry Barnhart high scoring "Speedboys" averaged a school record 43 points per game. Ray Miller set the season record with 232 points, and Robert Riley scored 216 points. Capt. Hayden Fouts, Lewin Vermillion, and Paul "Beanie" Johnson rounded out the starting line up. On Jan. 7th Bob Fox made the first radio broadcast of an AHS basketball game on WLBP.

90 Years Ago   1921-22 Season  Ashland 31, Mansfield 15

The final NCO game of the season was at Mansfield’s Casino Park Coliseum. It was the all-time league record crowd of 2500 fans from around the league. Leo Grimes (15 pts) and Howard Grindle (10 pts) led the upset for the Tyger’s only NCO defeat of the year.

95 Years Ago 1916-17     AHS 88 West Salem 17

The A’s defeated West Salem twice 88-17 and 88-11 that season. These highest scoring records would last for 33 years until the 108 points vs Bucyrus in 1950. The lineup was: Capt. Clarence “Dick” Miller, Marshall Mohn, Barton Kagey, Raymond Plank, and Vernon Miller. Dick Miller scored 36 points in the first West Salem game and Raymond Plank scored 32 points.

95 Years Ago 1917

AHS was invited to play in the northern division of the Ohio Wesleyan 5th State Tournament at Delaware. Of the 100 invitations only 35 schools accepted and Ashland declined. However, two years later when the tournament was expanded to four sites throughout the state, the A’s played their first post-season tournament game.

100 Years Ago 1911-12

For the first time the AHS team finally had a home court (the YMCA) and a coach (J.E. Rhea, the PE director at the YMCA). Their captain was Luther Frentz, who had three years of experience on the YMCA team. He was apparently the first AHS player to score more than 20-points in a game, when he made 11 field goals against Bellville. All the players except one had played on the football team.



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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