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Published: Monday, 1/10/2005

Central atop 1st Blade poll

BY DONALD EMMONS
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Central Catholic opened the season as more than just the favorite to win the City League.

The talented and experienced Irish girls basketball team also was considered the top program in the area.

Central's 11-0 start certainly supports such thinking and has earned it top billing in the first Blade girls basketball poll of the season. Central already has victories over Northview, Findlay, Pickerington Central and Wadsworth - traditionally strong programs.

"I think we've had a pretty good season right now," Central coach Steve Pfahler said. "I think we're probably playing a little bit better than I expected."

Michigan-bound point guard Jessica Minnfield leads the Irish with 17 points per game.

Northview coach Jerry Sigler, whose team finished atop The Blade poll last season, saw his team lose by 12 points to the Irish earlier this season. The Wildcats are ranked No. 2.

"I think Central is by far the best team," Sigler said. "But I think a lot of other teams are getting better and should make the tournament interesting."

Other poll leaders are Ottawa-Glandorf in Division II, Patrick Henry in Division III and defending poll champion Miller City in Division IV.

In D-III the Patriots have a slight edge on Elmwood. Both teams own 10-0 records.

Contact Donald Emmons at: demmons@theblade.com or 419-724-6302.



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