GHS shoots into boys basketball power poll top 20

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With the Thanksgiving holiday behind them, the teams in the Prep Zone Power Poll can really get down to business and get into the flow of the regular season. And the usual suspects at the top of the regional rankings are all off to fast starts. 

Providence (Jacksonville), who was ranked No. 1 in the preseason poll, stays at No. 1 after a 4-0 start which includes wins at No. 10 Riverside (Jacksonville), Sandalwood (Jacksonville) and IMG Academy Blue (Bradenton). The Stallions received seven of the eight first-place votes this week to stay at the top. 

Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) remains No. 2. The Tigers (4-1) defeated two Georgia teams along with Sandalwood and Creekside (St. Johns), with their only loss so far coming to Tampa Catholic. Jackson received the other first-place. 

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Ponte Vedra is at No. 3 after starting 3-0. The Sharks defeated Bolles (Jacksonville), 74-52, and picked up a big win over No.5 Paxon (Jacksonville), 65-61. 

North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) moves up two spots to No. 4. The Eagles (4-1) picked up wins over Riverside, Tampa Catholic, and Potter’s House Christian (Jacksonville) with their only loss so far coming to The Rock (Gainesville). 

Rounding out the top five is Paxon (Jacksonville). The Golden Eagles (2-1) beat RV (receiving votes) St. Augustine and Lovejoy (GA) but dropped a game at home to Ponte Vedra, and that loss dropped Paxon two spots this week. 

Fleming Island (Orange Park) is at No. 6. The Golden Eagles are off to a 4-0 start which includes wins over Wolfson (Jacksonville) and Bishop Snyder (Jacksonville). 

Clay County rival Orange Park is right behind Fleming Island in the No. 7 spot. The Raiders (2-1) lost to No. 20 Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville) but picked up wins over Raines (Jacksonville) and First Coast (Jacksonville) and move up two slots. 

Nease (Ponte Vedra) is the big mover this week — up nine spots and into the top 10 at No. 8. The Panthers are 4-0, picking up wins at Bartram Trail (St. Johns) and then-No. 13 Fletcher (Neptune Beach) as well as against RV Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville). 

Ribault (Jacksonville) is up five spots to No. 9. The Trojans (3-1) beat Mandarin (Jacksonville) and Westside (Jacksonville), dropping an overtime game at No. 10 Riverside (Jacksonville). 

Speaking of Riverside, the Generals (1-2) dropped five spots this week after a tough start to their season which included losses to Providence and North Florida Educational Institute with the only win so far coming against Ribault. 

Among the teams moving into the rankings this week are No. 12 Gainesville, who has also started 4-0, No. 18 Oakleaf (Orange Park), who is also 4-0, and No. 20 Impact Christian. Impact Christian defeated Orange Park and Wiregrass Ranch (Wesley Chapel) while dropping their only game so far to Southridge (Miami). 

Other area teams making moves in this week’s poll include Columbia (Lake City), who remain at No. 14 and sport a 1-1 record. Bradford (Starke) fell two spots to No. 13 and play for the first time this season at Eastside tonight.

Santa Fe (Alachua) dropped five spots to No. 17 and are 1-1 to start the season.

Hawthorne – which moved from No. 18 to No. 16 – hasn’t played a game, yet, due to the Hornets’ football team advancing to the Class 1R championship game this Saturday.

Fletcher (Neptune Beach), who started 0-3, drops out of the poll this week along with DeLand and Trinity Catholic (Ocala). The Celtics fall out of the rankings after starting 0-4. 

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.

THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL POWERED BY ANYTIME FITNESS OF GAINESVILLE – 2022-23 BOYS BASKETBALL POLL #2 

(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, current record through 12/4, and total points)

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

1. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (7) (4-0) – 158

2. Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (4A) (1) (4-1) – 148

3. Ponte Vedra (6A) (3-0) – 147

4. North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) (2A) (4-1) – 129

5. Paxon (Jacksonville) (4A) (2-1) – 116

6. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (6A) (4-0) – 113

7. Orange Park (6A) (2-1) – 87

8. Nease (Ponte Vedra) (6A) (4-0) – 85

9. Ribault (Jacksonville) (4A) (3-1) – 83

10. Riverside (Jacksonville) (5A) (1-2) – 81

11. The Villages (4A) (2-1) – 67

12. Gainesville (6A) (4-0) – 55

13. Bradford (Starke) (3A) (0-0) – 54

14. Columbia (Lake City) (5A) (1-1) – 48

15. Leesburg (5A) (1-3) – 47

16. Mount Dora Christian Academy (2A) (3-1) – 40

17. Santa Fe (Alachua) (4A) (1-1) – 37

18. Hawthorne (1A) (0-0) – 31

19. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (6A) (4-0) – 30

20. Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville) (2A) (2-1) – 26

Also receiving votes: St. Augustine (5A) (3-1) – 17; Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (4A) (3-1) – 12; St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine) (2A) (3-0) – 11; Interlachen (3A) (4-0) – 9; Central (Brooksville) (4A) (3-1) – 8; Forest (Ocala) (6A) (3-2) – 6; Springstead (Spring Hill) (6A) (2-2) – 5; Beachside (St. Johns) (4A) 4-1) – 3; DeLand (7A) (1-2) – 3; Deltona (5A) (2-0) – 1; Oak Hall (Gainesville) (2A) (4-0) – 1; Williston (1A) (3-2) – 1

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