Whitmer's boys and Northview's girls highlight the list of No. 1 teams as the Division I leaders in the season's first Blade high school basketball poll.
Already having posted key wins over St. John's Jesuit and Findlay in Three Rivers Athletic Conference play, veteran Whitmer coach Bruce Smith's Panthers have survived well in the transition from football to basketball season in posting a 9-0 record.
Three of Whitmer's top players, plus some top subs, we're instrumental members of the Panthers' 13-1 football team, which reached the D-I state semifinals.
2. Central Catholic81
3. St. John's73
4. Anthony Wayne61
4. Bowling Green65
3. Patrick Henry62
2. Maumee Valley71
4. Fremont St. Joseph63
2. Notre Dame53
4. Central Catholic64
5. Bowling Green62
2. Ottawa Hills71
3. North Baltimore93
Last week's ranking in parentheses. The Blade poll ranks teams from the City League, TRAC, NLL, NBC, TAAC and NWOAL, plus Arcadia, Fayette, Fostoria St. Wendelin, Fremont St.Joseph, Holgate, Lakota, Liberty-Benton, McComb, Monclova Christian, North Baltimore, Oak Harbor, Pettisville, Port Clinton and Van Buren.
The Panthers' next big TRAC hoops test comes Friday when they host second-ranked Central Catholic (8-1), which has recovered well from graduation after reaching the state semifinals last March.
Northview's Jerry Sigler reached his latest coaching milestone last Friday when his girls basketball team moved to 8-1 with a Northern Lakes league win over Sylvania-rival Southview, which gave Sigler career victory No. 650. Notre Dame (5-3), the top girls team in the TRAC, rates No. 2 in Division I.
In Division II, the Wauseon boys (8-0), coached by Chad Burt, take the top spot ahead of No. 2 Scott (6-3), while the Rogers Rams (8-1) of second-year coach Lamar Smith rule the roost at No. 1 on the girls' side.
Archbold has cornered the market in Division III ahead of Liberty-Benton, with the 8-2 Blue Streak boys of veteran coach Doug Krauss edging L-B's No. 2 Eagles (6-2), and the 12-0 Archbold girls of coach Brian Ziegler claiming the top spot by a sliver over the second-ranked 10-0 L-B girls.
In Division IV, the 6-1 Gibsonburg Golden Bears of coach Brent Liskai owe their No. 1 Blade boys ranking over second-ranked Maumee Valley (7-1) to an early season 46-43 Toledo Area Athletic Conference win on the Hawks' home court.
And, as the lone remaining unbeaten among D-IV girls teams within the boundaries of the Blade Poll, coach Randy Baker's Arcadia Redskins (10-0) claim the No. 1 ranking ahead of perennial TAAC power Ottawa Hills (7-1).