The first Blade boys and girls basketball polls for the 2012-13 season are out, and only two teams — the Liberty-Benton boys and the Rogers girls — maintain their No. 1 divisional rankings from the end of last season.
In Division I, unbeaten Central Catholic continues to ride the wave of momentum coming off the school’s D-II football state championship.
Coach Jim Welling’s Fighting Irish, the preseason favorites to win the Three Rivers Athletic Conference, are 6-0 overall and are in first place in the TRAC (3-0) entering Friday’s matchup with Whitmer (8-2), which is the reigning Blade poll champion but ranked No. 4 in the first poll this season.
Another unbeaten, 11-0 Perrysburg, claims the top spot in the first Division I girls poll. The Yellow Jackets of coach Todd Sims survived for a 53-49 double-overtime win last Friday at Northview to move to 8-0 in the Northern Lakes League.
Coach Jim Bostdorff’s Otsego Knights (9-1), who prevailed in a Northern Buckeye Conference first-place showdown against Lake last Friday, hold down the top spot in the first Division II boys poll.
Retaining their No. 1 slot from the end of last season are coach Lamar Smith’s Rogers Rams (8-2) in the D-II girls poll. The defending City League champion Rams, who reached the regional semifinals last season, are a notch above Port Clinton (10-1).
Like the Rogers girls, coach Steve Williman’s Liberty-Benton boys (7-1) were also a divisional Blade poll champion last season. The Blanchard Valley Conference’s Eagles lead the field once again in Division III by a narrow margin over No. 2 Lake (9-1).
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the first half is the 10-0 start of coach Doug Reynolds’ Elmwood girls, who were picked to finish fourth in the NBC but head up the Blade’s Division III poll. The Royals rate one spot above defending Blade champion Archbold (11-1), which closed the 2011-12 regular season a perfect 20-0.
In Division IV, the Toledo Christian boys (8-1) of coach Dave McWhinnie and Patrick Henry girls (10-0) of coach Joe Pennington lead their respective Blade polls. TC’s Eagles won their first Toledo Area Athletic Conference boys showdown against Ottawa Hills (6-2) last Saturday night, and PH has yet to face fellow Northwest Ohio Athletic League girls contender Archbold.
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