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Published: Tuesday, 2/28/2006

Blade crowns 4 poll champs


There was a complete overhaul this year as four new champions have been crowned in the final Blade boys basketball poll for the 2005-06 regular season.

The Scott Bulldogs (19-1) of second-year coach Joe Suboticki, who were ranked fifth in the final Associated Press Division I state poll, not only unseated four-time defending champion St. John's Jesuit for the City League title but ended the Titans' string of four consecutive Blade D-I titles as well.

Scott actually carried some momentum into the season, having upset rival Libbey and St. John's to win last year's district crown.

This season, the Bulldogs went unbeaten against Ohio competition, losing only to Lawrence (N.Y.) Woodmere (62-56) at the Longwood (N.Y.) Rim Rocker holiday tournament. They closed the regular season with 13 straight wins, edging St. John's 56-51 in double overtime in last Thursday's CL title game.

Sixth-ranked St. Francis de Sales (17-2) took the No. 2 slot in the Blade poll, St. John's (15-5) closed at No. 3, and Northern Lakes League-champion Perrysburg (17-3), which also closed the regular season with 13 straight wins, was No. 4.

In Division II, veteran coach Ken Burgei guided his Wauseon Indians to a 14-6 finish, a tie for second in the Northwest Ohio Athletic League, and the top spot in the final Blade poll. Wauseon dethroned last year's champion, Port Clinton (13-7), which ranked No. 3 this year.

In its first season dropping down to D-II, Central Catholic (11-8) of the City League placed second in the final Blade poll.

Another team that dropped down a division because of enrollment was Ottawa-Glandorf (17-3), and the Titans of first-year coach Josh Leslie have ridden a 10-game winning streak into sectional tournament play. That run was good enough for a Division III Blade poll title for O-G, which went through a rebuilding phase last year after winning the 2004 D-II state tournament championship.

The Titans, champions of the Western Buckeye League, topped No. 2 Archbold (16-4), which was last year's Blade D-III winner.

From wire to wire, there was no doubt about the No. 1 team in Division IV.

Ottoville (20-0) ran the table for coach Tom Von Sossan, and replaced last year's champion, Pettisville, as The Blade's No. 1 team.

The Big Green, champions of the Putnam County League, also captured the D-IV state poll title.

Midland Athletic League champion New Riegel (18-2) ended up at No. 2, and Toledo Area Athletic Conference champion Toledo Christian (17-3) closes at No. 3 entering tourney play.

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