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Published: Tuesday, 2/27/2007

Libbey, Central tops in Bade poll

BY STEVE JUNGA
BLADE SPORTS WRITER

Like the final Blade high school girls basketball poll a week earlier, the final boys poll of 2007 also has no repeat divisional champions from the 2005-06 season.

In Division I, City League champion Libbey (19-1), which was ranked No. 3 in the final Ohio poll, replaced rival Scott atop the Blade poll on Jan. 22 and never looked back.

The Cowboys of coach Leroy Bates (226-110, 14 seasons) won their first CL title since 2000, and succeed Scott as the Blade' D-I champion. Libbey's lone loss came on Jan. 15 against Saginaw Arthur Hill, which is the defending Division 1 state champion and ranked No. 2 in Michigan.

Libbey defeated St. John's Jesuit 61-49 in the City championship game. The Titans (13-7) finished rated No. 2 in the D-I Blade poll.

The City League also produced the Division II poll champion, as Central Catholic (13-6) stayed ahead of No. 2 Wauseon (14-6) in the final week after both teams lost their regular-season finales. The Irish of coach Paul Patterson dropped from D-I to D-II last season after a decline in boys enrollment at Central. Wauseon was the 2006 champ.

Divisions III and IV feature poll champions featured undefeated teams.

Coach Steve Williman's Liberty-Benton Eagles (20-0), who also captured the state's D-III poll championship, succeeded 2006 Blade winner Ottawa-Glandorf. Archbold (18-2) closed No. 2 locally and No. 3 in the state poll. L-B won its 10th Blanchard Valley Conference title this year under Williman, who is 376-109 through 21 seasons with the Eagles, and 411-182 overall.

In repeating their Toledo Area Athletic Conference championship, coach Dave McWhinnie's Toledo Christian Eagles (20-0) also completed their first unbeaten regular season, won their first Blade poll title, and earned a No. 3 ranking in the state's final D-IV poll.

Toledo Christian succeeds 2006 Blade small-school champion Ottoville (17-3), which closed this regular season ranked No. 2.

Last week, the Blade crowned girls champions Waite (D-I), Ottawa-Glandorf (D-II), Swanton (D-III), Hopewell-Loudon (D-IV).



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