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This week in Toledo sports history: March 12-18

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    Toledo fired coach Stan Joplin in 2008 after 12 years leading his alma mater.

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    Libbey's William Buford (44) and Tony Brown (24) react to their overtime loss to Chillicothe during the Division II state final in 2008.

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This week in Blade sports 10, 20, and 30 years ago, Libbey's boys played for a state championship in basketball, Central Catholic's girls advanced to the state semifinals, and Delta's wrestlers made history. In college news, Toledo fired a longtime coach while Bowling Green played in the NCAA tournament. And finally, in the pro ranks, the Toledo Storm got a much-needed win, and a $51,000 first-place prize was awarded at a bowling alley.

■ March 12, 1998: Thorpe wins it for Storm — Rob Thorpe boasts a team-high 33 goals this season for the Toledo Storm, but none of them has been as big as this one. Thorpe’s goal during the eighth round of a sudden-death shootout allowed the Storm to snap a three-game skid with a 3-2 victory in Louisville.

■ March 13, 1988: Voss wins PBA title — Brian Voss, the top seed who was never lower than fourth in a field of 360, clinched the $51,000 first-place prize by winning the Trustcorp-PBA National Championship at Ducat’s Imperial Lanes. Voss, 29, easily handled Todd Thompson, 23, in the title match, 246-185.

■ March 14, 1998: Irish storm past Tornadoes — With its trump card coming in the form of a smothering defense, the 25-1 Central Catholic girls basketball team crushed Tiffin Columbian 67-30 to reach the Division I state semifinals. It’s the first Division I regional title for a City League team since the Irish did it in 1987.

■ March 15, 1998: Delta wrestlers make history — Delta dominated the Division III state wrestling meet like no small school had ever done before, earning its second state championship in three years. While the Panthers won just one individual title, they set a D-III record with 149.5 points, easily outdistancing second-place Sandusky St. Mary’s at 67.5 points.

■ March 16, 2008: Libbey loses heartbreaker — The Libbey boys basketball team lost the Division II state championship game in the most heartbreaking fashion imaginable — 70-69 in overtime to Chillicothe on Ray Chambers’ game-winning, buzzer-beating layup that rolled around the rim before going through. William Buford led the Cowboys (24-3) with 29 points. He also had six rebounds and five assists.

■ March 17, 1988: Falcons ousted in first round — For 20 minutes, maybe longer, the Bowling Green women’s basketball team scoffed at the nation’s fourth-best defensive team. But St. Joseph’s rallied from an 11-point deficit by holding the Falcons scoreless for nearly seven minutes, then hung on late to win 68-66 in the opening round of the NCAA tournament.

■ March 18, 2008: Rockets fire Joplin — Athletic director Mike O’Brien said he fired University of Toledo men’s basketball coach Stan Joplin after 12 seasons because he wanted “new energy” for the program. “We have had some success during Stan’s tenure,” O’Brien said. “However, we still have some goals left unmet.”

—Compiled by Tommy Gallagher

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