The final Blade boys basketball poll for the 2013-14 season has crowned four new divisional champions who have posted a combined 76-8 record heading into the start of tournament play today.
City League champion Bowsher (20-2) is The Blade’s top team in Division I, Northern Buckeye Conference winner Lake (21-1) is the D-II champion, Northwest Ohio Athletic League co-champion Archbold (16-4) takes the D-III title, and Toledo Area Athletic Conference champ Ottawa Hills (19-1) wins the crown in D-IV.
Coach Joe Guerrero’s Bowsher Rebels, who were ranked No. 8 in the final Associated Press state poll, leapfrogged Three River Athletic Conference champion Central Catholic (19-3) for the No. 1 spot in the final week.
The Rebels beat Woodward and Rogers in the City playoffs to win their first CL title since the school opened in 1962. They also reached 20 wins for the first time.
Tenth-ranked Central lost at Elida last Tuesday, but then topped Findlay to clinch the outright TRAC championship on Friday, and concluded the regular season with a win Saturday at Southview.
The Irish were No. 2, and Northern Lakes League champion Perrysburg finished No. 3 in D-I .
Lake’s Flyers posted the best regular-season finish in school history under fourth-year coach Ryan Bowen, and swept preseason NBC favorite Rossford en route to winning their second conference title in three years.
Lake was ranked No. 6 in the final D-II state poll, and suffered its only loss at Eastwood in NBC play. The Flyers have the minimum number of boys (213) to be included in Division II. They were No. 2 in The Blade’s final D-III poll in 2013.
Scott (13-6) finished No. 2 in Division II.
In Division III, the Blue Streaks of Archbold coach Doug Krauss held onto the No. 1 spot in the Blade poll in a close race with red-hot Blanchard Valley Conference runner-up Liberty-Benton (17-4), which had won the Blade’s D-III title the past two years.
The Streaks were ranked 11th in the final D-III state poll. L-B’s Eagles roll into tournament play riding a 13-game winning streak, during which they have topped foes by more than 40 points per game.
Ottawa Hills was the only team to lead its division from wire to wire in The Blade poll.
Coach John Lindsay’s Green Bears, who were ranked No. 5 in the final D-IV state poll, reached the regional final last season.
The Bears’ only loss came against Division I Southview (16-6), 58-55 on the road in overtime on Dec. 7. Ottawa Hills then reeled off 16 consecutive wins to close the season.
Fayette finished at No. 2 in the D-IV poll.