It came down to the last day of the regular season to decide the Division I champion of The Blade girls basketball poll as Notre Dame secured the top spot with a 50-35 victory Saturday at Perrysburg.
Perrysburg (19-3) had been ranked No. 1 two weeks ago before Notre Dame (18-3) took over the top spot last week.
The other three divisional winners in The Blade poll are three-time defending City League champion Rogers (18-4) in Division II, perennial Northwest Ohio Athletic League power Archbold (19-2) in Division III, and Buckeye Border Conference champion Pettisville (20-2) in Division IV.
Notre Dame coach Travis Galloway’s Eagles, who were ranked No. 7 in the final Associated Press D-I state poll, hit a rough patch in the middle of their season while senior team leader Jayda Worthy was out with a knee injury that required surgery.
Notre Dame, a D-I state semifinalist the past two years, dropped two games at the Classic in the Country invitational in Berlin, Ohio. The Eagles fell to Mason and to defending state champion Kettering Fairmont, who ended this regular season ranked No. 2 and No. 3, respectively.
Upon their return to Toledo, still without Worthy, the Eagles suffered their only Three Rivers Athletic Conference loss in three seasons (41-1 TRAC record) at Whitmer. That third straight defeat dropped them to 9-3.
Notre Dame rebounded with a big 60-36 win over Central Catholic, eventually got Worthy back, and closed the season with nine straight wins, including Saturday’s triumph over Northern Lakes League champion Perrysburg, which was ranked No. 6 in the final D-I state poll.
Rogers held the No. 1 spot in the Blade’s D-II poll from wire to wire. Coach Lamar Smith’s Rams, who closed their season Saturday with a dominant 69-23 win over Start in the City League championship game, were ranked 12th in the final state poll.
The Rams topped No. 2 Port Clinton (17-4) for The Blade’s D-II poll title. Rogers is hoping to climb another rung on the tournament ladder this year. The Rams reached their first district final in 2011, got to a regional semifinal in 2012, and lost to top-ranked Clyde in last year’s regional final.
Coach Brian Ziegler’s Archbold Blue Streaks won the NWOAL with an 8-0 league record, and were ranked No. 4 in the final D-III state poll, two spots ahead of Blanchard Valley Conference champion Liberty-Benton (19-2), which the Streaks edged for The Blade’s poll crown.
Division III was a highly competitive group. Oak Harbor (18-4) ended No. 3, Evergreen (17-4) No. 4, and Northern Buckeye Conference champion Elmwood (16-5) No. 5.
Last season, Archbold beat Liberty-Benton 47-36 in the regional semifinals before falling in the regional final to eventual D-III state runner-up Columbus Africentric.
In Division IV, coach Jason Waldvogel’s Pettisville Blackbirds topped Green Meadows Conference co-champion Holgate (18-4) for The Blade’s final No. 1 spot.
Pettisville’s only losses came against Archbold and Edgerton. The Blackbirds were ranked 12th in the D-IV final state poll.
Rogers and Archbold won their third straight Blade Poll titles in D-II and D-III, respectively, and Notre Dame repeated its D-I crown from 2013.