The first Blade boys and girls basketball polls are out for the 2008-09 season, and Southview and Start, respectively, highlight the inaugural rankings in
Coach Marc Jump's Southview Cougars (7-1) have carried their school's state championship football success from the fall season over to the court, where they are rated No. 1 among the area's D-I boys squads. Four Southview basketball starters, plus a couple top subs, played key roles on the football team.
After a tough 82-81 loss in their opening game against Columbus Brookhaven - a game played just a week after Southview ended a perfect 15-0 football campaign in the D-II state football final - the Cougars have made an admirable transition and rolled to seven straight wins. Included were a 60-55 win over Perrysburg, the team that shared the Northern Lakes League basketball title with Southview last winter, and a 65-53 victory over preseason City League favorite St. John's Jesuit.
Napoleon (5-1) checks in at No. 1 in D-II, defending D-III state champion Ottawa-Glandorf (7-0) holds down the Blade's top spot in that division and Pettisville (7-0) starts out at No. 1 in D-IV, matching its girls team. The Blackbird girls (6-0) hold the first slot in the Blade's small-school girls poll.
In Division I girls, Start (6-2) is trying to shake off a two-game losing streak (to Michigan power Detroit Country Day and Ohio small-school power Columbus Africentric). But coach Bob Brown's Spartans have earned the top slot by virtue of their early-season 49-48 win over preseason City League favorite Waite.
Unbeaten Perrysburg (9-0) starts off at No. 2 among big-school teams with Waite third.
Scott, which is off to a surprising 9-1 start, comes in at No. 4.
Wauseon (6-1) holds the top spot in D-II, and Liberty-Benton (7-0) opens up rated No. 1 in D-III ahead of 9-0 Suburban Lakes League co-leaders Genoa and Lake, who will meet for the first of their two league showdowns Saturday at Genoa.