GHS, Santa Fe, Columbia ranked in regional top 20

Basketball hoop

The regular season is over for high school boys basketball, but the tune remains the same as district tournaments begin for teams in the Prep Zone Power Poll. 

The Providence (Jacksonville) Stallions hope they can carry their fantastic regular season over to another state title. 

Providence kept rolling through the last few weeks, beating No. 4 North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) 69-43, winning 51-30 at No. 9T Nease (Ponte Vedra), and picking up victories over RV Fleming Island (Orange Park) and 5A No. 10 St. Petersburg at the Wally Keller Classic at Charlotte High School. 

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The Stallions (23-2) had a 12-game winning streak ended in their final regular season game on Saturday, losing 79-72 to 5A No. 6 and No. 52 overall Barron Collier (Naples) at the Shootout at Fleming Island. 

Providence, ranked No. 1 in 3A and No. 5 overall statewide by Max Preps, once again is the unanimous choice at the top of the power poll with all nine first-place votes. 

There is a bit of a shakeup behind the Stallions. Oakleaf (Orange Park) moves up to No. 2 as they finish the regular season on a 15-game winning streak. The only loss for the Knights (20-1) to this point was an overtime defeat to Providence on Dec. 9. 

Ponte Vedra moves up three spots to third. The Sharks (18-5) defeated Nease, then No. 9 Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville), 17th-ranked St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine), and No. 5 Ribault (Jacksonville), 44-42, at the MLK Classic at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville. 

North Florida Educational Institute drops two spots to No. 4. The Eagles (16-8) dropped games to Providence and teams from Virginia and North Carolina at a Charleston, South Carolina tournament. NFEI did beat University Christian (Jacksonville) and 4A No. 12 Bay (Panama City) at an MLK Classic at University Christian. 

Ribault rounds out the top five. The Trojans (20-4) stay fifth as they defeated Riverside (Jacksonville) and No. 13T Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) in overtime to win the Gateway Conference Tournament. Ribault’s only loss over the last three weeks was the two-point setback to Ponte Vedra. 

Paxon (Jacksonville) drops three spots to No. 6. The Golden Eagles (17-5) defeated Ed White (Jacksonville) and Fletcher (Neptune Beach) but lost to Andrew Jackson in the Gateway Conference tourney semifinals and also lost 40-36 to 7A No. 14 and No 56 overall Newsome (Lithia). 

Mainland (Daytona Beach) moves up four spaces to No. 7. The Bucs are followed by No. 8 Gainesville, and two teams tied for No. 9 — Nease and Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville).

Gainesville finished the regular season at 19-6, capping off its season finale with a 53-37 home win over Eastside.

Santa Fe (Alachua) moves up five spots and just misses the top 10 at No. 11. The Raiders (19-5) have won 17 games in a row and are the No. 1 seed and hosting the District 5-4A tournament. 

Columbia (Lake City) moves up one spot to 12th. The Tigers (16-9) lost to Santa Fe but beat Impact Christian and Hawthorne over the last few weeks. 

The only team moving into the rankings this week is Wildwood. The Wildcats (18-6) have won 10 games in a row are tied for 19th this week. Wildwood is ranked No. 1 in 1A by Max Preps. 

Fleming Island (Orange Park) drops out from the previous poll. 

The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, girls basketball, boys basketball, softball & baseball teams (regardless of FHSAA classification) across 26 counties in North Florida (Alachua, Baker, Bradford, Citrus, Clay, Columbia, Dixie, Duval, Flagler, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Jefferson, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Madison, Marion, Nassau, Putnam, Sumter, St. Johns, Suwannee, Taylor, Union & Volusia counties). It is voted on weekly by sportswriters and sportscasters and it is powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.


(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, current record through 2/4, and total voting points)

Teams in bold are inside the Mainstreet Daily News coverage area.

1. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (9) (23-2) – 180

2. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (6A) (20-1) – 153

3. Ponte Vedra (6A) (18-5) – 152

4. North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) (2A) (16-8) – 151

5. Ribault (Jacksonville) (4A) (20-4) – 150

6. Paxon (Jacksonville) (4A) (17-5) – 127

7. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (5A) (19-5) – 126

8. Gainesville (6A) (19-6) – 107

9T. Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville) (2A) (16-8) – 104

9T. Nease (Ponte Vedra) (6A) (17-7) – 104

11. Santa Fe (Alachua) (4A) (19-5) – 99

12. Columbia (Lake City) (5A) (16-9) – 76

13T. Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (4A) (13-11) – 63

13T. Orange Park (6A) (17-8) – 63

15. Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (20-5) – 62

16. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (4A) (18-7) – 59

17. St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine) (2A) (18-5) – 34

18. The Villages (4A) (17-8) – 30

19. Wildwood (1A) (18-6) – 16 

20. Mount Dora Christian Academy (Jacksonville) (2A) (19-6) – 11

Also receiving votes: Fleming Island (Orange Park) (6A) (14-10) – 10; Forest (Ocala) (6A) (19-6) – 8; New Smyrna Beach (6A) (21-4) – 6; Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (6A) (15-8) – 3; Lake Minneola (Minneola) (6A) (15-9) – 3; Williston (1A) (18-7) – 3; Lecanto (5A) (21-3) – 2. 

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