Three unbeaten teams highlight the final Blade girls basketball poll for the 2008-09 season.
Perrysburg in Division I, Tiffin Columbian in D-II and Lake in D-III all closed the regular season a perfect 20-0, and each ends the year rated No. 1 in their respective divisions.
The fourth No. 1 is Carey (18-2) in D-IV.
Perrysburg and 19th-year head coach Mark Schrock won an outright Northern Lakes League title this season after sharing the crown with Anthony Wayne last season.
The Yellow Jackets, who were ranked No. 7 in the final Ohio D-I state poll, edged first-time City League champion Start (16-3) for the top slot.
Some will argue the Spartans, who were ranked No. 11 statewide in D-I, played a more challenging schedule. Start s losses came against perennial Michigan power Detroit Country Day, perennial Ohio power South Euclid Regina and small-school state power Columbus Africentric.
That argument for No. 1 could ultimately be settled in tournament play, if Perrysburg and Start each advance to the March 14 regional final in Norwalk.
Coach Larry Kisabeth s Columbian team won the Northern Ohio League championship and was ranked No. 2 in the final D-II state poll.
The Blade s poll champions in D-III and D-IV are each led by first-year coaches.
Lake s Denny Meyer left his assistant coach post at Oak Harbor to take the Flyers helm and has yet to taste defeat as a head coach. Lake, champion of the Suburban Lakes League, won its first girls basketball title since capturing an NLL crown back in 1979. The Flyers, ranked No. 6 in the final state poll, edged fourth-ranked Blanchard Valley Conference co-champion Liberty-Benton (18-1) for The Blade s top spot.
In D-IV, first-year Carey coach Phil Vaughn guided the Blue Devils to a Midland Athletic League championship, and the difference was a single point. Carey defeated New Riegel (17-3), The Blade s second-ranked D-IV squad, by a 46-45 count in MAL play back in early December.
In fact, first, second and third place in the MAL were each separarted by a single point, as Blade No. 5 Fostoria St. Wendelin (16-4) lost 44-43 to New Riegel and 38-37 to Carey.
Carey was ranked No. 13 in the final state poll, New Riegel No. 6.
All four Blade divisional champions are new, succeeding No. 1s Central Catholic, Ottawa-Glandorf, Liberty-Benton and Stryker, respectively, from last season.