Remembering the Ohio Big 8 Conference

Qcity

Well-known member
How about a little throwback to one of Ohio's all-time great basketball (only) conferences: The Ohio Big 8.

Class AAA

Alliance Aviators
Barberton Magics
East Liverpool Potters
Massillon Tigers
Niles Red Dragons
Salem Quakers
Warren Harding Panthers
Warren Western Reserve Raiders

What an epic league with some of the top teams and athletes in Ohio back in the day.
 

Maxie

Well-known member
The ORIGINAL members of the BIG 8 Conference—1962-63
1–Alliance
2–Canton McKinley
3–East Liverpool
4–Massillon Washington
5–Niles
6–Salem
7–Steubenville
8–Warren Harding

Massillon Washington left the league after the 1965-66 season. The Tigers rejoined the conference in 1973-74. These schools were members at this time:

1–Alliance
2–Barberton
3–East Liverpool
4–Massillon Washington
5–Niles
6–Salem
7–Warren Harding
8–Warren Western Reserve

The Tigers left the league after the 1976-77 season.
 
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Qcity

Well-known member
Appreciate that early history from the '60's!

Barberton won the state title in 1976.
 

Scipio

Well-known member
I was just trying to remember who made up this conference and found this thread. This was the BB conference I grew up watching. Warren Reserve and Barberton were the perennial favorites and my Panthers were pretty good back then.
I had forgotten that EL and Salem were in it, and thought McKinley WAS in it the whole time.
Barberton was so much fun to watch. I can still remember those bad arse uniforms/warm-ups and that cool pre-game warm-up they did.
 

Maxie

Well-known member
I was just trying to remember who made up this conference and found this thread. This was the BB conference I grew up watching. Warren Reserve and Barberton were the perennial favorites and my Panthers were pretty good back then.
I had forgotten that EL and Salem were in it, and thought McKinley WAS in it the whole time.
Barberton was so much fun to watch. I can still remember those bad arse uniforms/warm-ups and that cool pre-game warm-up they did.
C. McKinley was in the league only in the 60’s. Some great basketball!
 
Speaking of great leagues, Portsmouth was a member of the Greater Ohio League from the mid 40's to the mid 70's. The league's steady members were Middletown, Hamilton, Lima, Springfield, and Portsmouth. Chillicothe and Mansfield were members briefly. From 1944 to 1961, the GOL produced 11 big school state championships (Middletown 7, Hamilton 2, Springfield 1, and Portsmouth 1). As good as Portsmouth's program has been historically, the Trojans only won the GOL twice (1955 and 1961). PHS was eliminated in the regionals in the 1950's 4 times by Middletown or Hamilton. In 1956, Portsmouth lost to Middletown (with Jerry Lucas) in the regional semifinal 102-82, a score which for that time was extremely rare and today unheard of in tournament play.

Hamilton left the league in the 1960's, splitting into Hamilton Taft(won the state in 1962) and Hamilton, while Middletown exited several years later. The GOL finally disbanded in the mid 70's with the only remaining members being Springfield South, Lima, and Portsmouth. PHS had a losing record against every GOL opponent, Middletown 17-47, Hamilton 10-21, Lima 12-19, and Springfield(South) 29-36. The Trojans had some very good teams during those GOL years, but the league was probably the toughest in the state at that time. As a result of the rugged competition that the GOL provided, the Trojans did very well against non-league opponents, especially those in Columbus, Dayton, and Cincinnati.
 
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