Hawthorne ranks sixth in regional power poll

As the high school girls basketball regular season comes to an end this week and district tournaments get underway next week, the only undefeated team, St. Augustine, remains at the top of The Prep Zone Power Poll.

But red-hot Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) is right on the Yellow Jackets’ tail.

St. Augustine, who is the No. 1 seed in next week’s District 4-6A tournament, easily won both their games over Terry Parker (Jacksonville) and First Coast (Jacksonville) to improve to 19-0 and receive four of the seven first-place votes in the regional rankings.

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Only a point behind St. Augustine and receiving two votes for first-place is No. 2 Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville). The Crusaders, ranked No. 2 in 4A statewide by MaxPreps; defeated 4A state-ranked Cocoa, 2A state-ranked University Christian (Jacksonville) and won at No. 15 Bolles (Jacksonville).

Bishop Kenny (18-4) has won 10 games in a row and 15 of 16 after a 3-3 start. The Crusaders host the District 3-4A tournament coming up.

Nease (Ponte Vedra) remains third. The Panthers (19-3) have not lost since 2022 began, winning eight in a row Including wins over No. 8 Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) and No. 13 Ponte Vedra.

Spruce Creek (Port Orange) remains fourth and picks up the final first-place vote. The Hawks (14-6), ranked eighth in 7A by MaxPreps, have lost only two games since the New Year, to 3A state-ranked Carrollwood Day (Tampa) and 4A No. 1 Lake Highland Prep (Orlando).

Wildwood, the top-ranked team in 1A, moves up a spot this week to round out the top five in the regional poll. The Wildcats (13-4) have only dropped one game since the holidays, losing to Brooks-DeBartolo (Tampa), who is ranked No. 13 overall statewide by MaxPreps.

Orange Park is a big mover this week, up six spots to a tie for 6th with Hawthorne. The Raiders (18-5) have won seven in a row and nine of 10 since January 1, with the only setback 56-53 to No. 1 St. Augustine.

The Hornets (12-3), ranked No. 3 in 1A, picked up wins over 6A Gainesville, 2A state-ranked North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville), RV (received votes) Columbia (Lake City) and No. 14 Trinity Catholic (Ocala).

Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) also made a big move this week, up six spots to eighth. The Tigers (13-8) had a six-game winning streak snapped with a two-point loss at Nease, but won the Gateway Conference Tournament the previous week and beat then-No. 5 Mandarin (Jacksonville) to move into the top ten for the first time this season.

No. 9 Mainland (Daytona Beach) and 10th-ranked Mandarin round out the top ten. Mandarin (15-2) dropped their first two games of the season to Jackson and Bolles, and drop five spots but stay in the top 10 for another week.

Eustis is the only team to make their debut this week, tied for 19th with Ribault (Jacksonville). Madison County and Columbia drop out from the previous poll.

The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, girls volleyball, 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, record through 1/24, total voting points)

1. St. Augustine (5A) (4) (19-0) – 135

2. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (4A) (2) (18-4) – 134

3. Nease (Ponte Vedra) (6A) (19-3) – 125

4. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (7A) (1) (14-6) – 122

5. Wildwood (1A) (13-4) – 102

6T. Hawthorne (1A) (12-3) – 94

6T. Orange Park (5A) (18-5) – 94

8. Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (4A) (13-8) – 81

9. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (5A) (10-7) – 79

10. Mandarin (Jacksonville) (7A) (15-2) – 67

11. St. John’s Country Day (Orange Park) (2A) (18-3) – 62

12. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (14-4) – 60

13. Ponte Vedra (6A) (13-7) – 55

14. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (3A) (18-4) – 54

15. Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (14-7) – 42

16. Dunnellon (4A) (21-2) – 38

17. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (7A) (7-10) – 30

18. Keystone Heights (4A) (15-4) – 18

19T. Eustis (4A) (11-9) – 14

19T. Ribault (Jacksonville) (5A) (10-8) – 14

Also receiving votes: Fleming Island (Orange Park) (6A) (15-6) – 9; North Marion (Citra) (4A) (12-7) – 6; Lafayette (Mayo) (1A) (15-3) – 4; Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (6-11) – 3; Ridgeview (Orange Park) (5A) (14-8) – 2; Belleview (5A) (13-5) – 1; Gainesville (6A) (11-6) – 1.

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