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Published: Friday, 1/10/2003

Blade Poll leaders can boast about perfection

The first Blade boys basketball poll for the 2002-03 season is out and none of last season's champions managed to retain their No. 1 spots.

And, the four current leaders in Divisions I through IV are also the only four remaining unbeaten team's as the season's midway point approaches.

In Division I, Central Catholic, which ended at No. 3 last season, is off and running at 9-0 behind seniors Chris Commons and Ryne Robinson, and takes the top spot for the first poll. The Irish have a tough test tonight, however, taking on last year's Blade and Ohio D-I poll winner St. John's Jesuit (6-3) in the first game of a City League double-header at Savage Hall at 6:30 p.m. St. John's, 25-1 last season, is the defending CL champion.

Defending Sandusky Bay Conference co-champion Port Clinton is also unbeaten after nine games, and takes the top slot in Division II by a slim margin over Fostoria (8-1), which is competing in its first season in the Northern Ohio League. The only loss for the Redmen came in their NOL opener against Upper Sandusky, which is ranked fifth. Port Clinton was not ranked in last season's final Blade Poll. Last year's winner, Ottawa-Glandorf, ranks fourth at 6-3.

In Division III, 9-0 is also the formula for No. 1 Patrick Henry of the Northwest Ohio Athletic League. The Patriots, who hold a slight edge over No. 2 Huron (9-1) and No. 2 NWOAL-rival Archbold (7-1), ended last season at No. 5. Woodmore, last year's D-III Blade Poll winner, is 5-5 and unranked.

Midland Athletic League leader Tiffin Calvert (8-0), which was not a top-5 poll team to close last season, edged out Green Meadows Conference power Holgate (9-1) for the top spot in Division IV. The Tigers weren't rated among the top-5 last year either, but did reach a regional final. Sandusky St. Mary, the D-IV poll champ is 4-5 and unranked.

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