As 2022 came to a close and we head into 2023, there was some movement in the Prep Zone Boys Basketball Power Poll.
But as the holiday tournaments wrapped up, the team at the top remains the same — and unanimously.
The Providence (Jacksonville) Stallions suffered their first loss of the season at the Kingdom of the Sun Tournament in Ocala, losing in the semifinals to Winter Haven, who is ranked No. 1 in 7A and also No. 1 in all classifications according to Max Preps.
Providence (12-1), who is ranked No. 1 in 3A and No. 7 statewide by Max Preps, also picked up wins over IMG Academy Blue (Bradenton) and No. 18 The Villages at the City of Palms in Fort Myers, and defeated No. 5T Nease (Ponte Vedra) and No. 7 Oakleaf (Orange Park) at the Fortegra Invitational at Florida State College of Jacksonville.
That was enough for the Stallions to pick up all eight first-place votes as the unanimous No. 1 team this week.
Paxon (Jacksonville) moves up three spots to No. 2. The Golden Eagles (11-1) won all nine of their games over the holidays, picking up wins over Georgia teams Toombs County (Lyons) and Glynn Academy (Brunswick), as well as beating No. 15 Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) and Ed White (Jacksonville) as well as then-RV Beachside (St. Johns). Paxon’s only loss so far this season was to fourth-ranked Ponte Vedra.
North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) moves up one spot to No. 3. The Eagles (8-4) dropped a game to a team from New York as well as defending 3A state champion Florida High (Tallahassee) as well as Gibbs (St. Petersburg), but did pick up a win over the 17th-ranked team statewide DME Academy (Daytona Beach).
Ponte Vedra drops a spot to No. 4. The Sharks (9-3) dropped two games to two Georgia teams at the St. Andrew’s Holiday Showcase, but beat another Georgia team and also beat Nease and Fletcher (Neptune Beach).
Speaking of Nease, the Panthers (12-3) move up three slots and are tied for No. 5 with Ribault (Jacksonville).
Nease lost to No. 19 Santa Fe (Alachua) at the Hitchcock’s Classic in Alachua and dropped a game to Ponte Vedra and Providence at the Fortegra Invitational. The Panthers beat Creekside (St. Johns) as well as Mater Academy Charter (Hialeah Gardens) and had wins over Bishop Kenny, University Christian (Jacksonville), St. Augustine and Fletcher.
Ribault (12-2) is up four spots to tie with Nease and round out the top five. The Trojans picked up a win over then-No. 2 Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville), but also lost by a point to the Tigers. Ribault also beat No. 11 Orange Park at the Battle on the Island at Fleming Island (Orange Park), and defeated RV (received votes) Bolles (Jacksonville) and Golden Gate (Naples) at that same tournament.
Oakleaf (Orange Park) makes the big move this week, moving up 12 spots to No. 7. The Knights (12-1) picked up three wins at the Gus Gibbs Tournament at DeLand, as well as beating Sandalwood (Jacksonville) twice and Clay (Green Cove Springs). Oakleaf’s only loss is an overtime setback to Providence at the Fortegra Invitational.
Impact Christian (Jacksonville) also is up 12 slots to No. 8. The Lions (9-2) won two out of three games at the Kreul Classic in Coral Springs and knocked off No. 14 Fleming Island and then-No. 8 Riverside (Jacksonville).
Gainesville is up three spots to No. 9. The Hurricanes (11-4) won two out of three games at the Holiday Hoopfest at Golden Gate, losing at the buzzer to Fort Myers. Gainesville knocked off No. 10 Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) at the Battle on the Island, but lost two close games in that same tournament to the second-ranked team in 5A, Auburndale, and the No. 2 team regardless of classification according to MaxPreps, Orlando Christian Prep. Gainesville also picked up wins over Santa Fe and No. 12 Columbia (Lake City).
Andrew Jackson rounds out the top 10. The Tigers (7-7) dropped a bunch of games over the holidays, falling to Gainesville, RV Lake Minneola (Minneola), Ribault, P.K. Yonge (Gainesville) and Martin County (Stuart). Andrew Jackson also defeated Ribault at the Northwest Christmas Tournament and beat Riverside.
Moving into the top 20 this week is No. 13 Mainland (Daytona Beach), No. 15 Bishop Kenny, and 20th-ranked St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine).
Riverside, Bradford (Starke) and Hawthorne drop out from the previous poll.
Other ranked teams in the Main Street Daily News area this week include No. 12 Columbia and No. 19 Santa Fe. Hawthorne, Williston, Oak Hall and Newberry all received votes.
THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL POWERED BY ANYTIME FITNESS OF GAINESVILLE – 2022-23 BOYS BASKETBALL POLL #3
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, current record through 1/3, and total voting points)
Teams in bold are inside the Mainstreet Daily News coverage area.
1. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (8) (12-1) – 160
2. Paxon (Jacksonville) (4A) (11-1) – 145
3. North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) (2A) (8-4) – 122
4. Ponte Vedra (6A) (9-3) – 121
5T. Nease (Ponte Vedra) (6A) (12-3) – 118
5T. Ribault (Jacksonville)(4A) (12-2) – 118
7. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (6A) (12-1) – 110
8. Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville) (2A) (9-2) – 97
9. Gainesville (6A) (11-4) – 95
10. Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (4A) (7-7) – 71
11. Orange Park (6A) (10-4) – 69
12. Columbia (Lake City) (5A) (9-5) – 67
13. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (5A) (10-3) – 62
14. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (6A) (8-5) – 47
15. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (4A) (9-3) – 45
16. Mount Dora Christian Academy (2A) (9-5) – 38
17. Leesburg (5A) (7-5) – 28
18. The Villages (4A) (7-6) – 25
19. Santa Fe (Alachua) (4A) (7-5) – 21
20. St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine) (2A) (8-2) – 20
Also receiving votes: New Smyrna Beach (6A) (9-0) – 18; Williston (1A) (10-4) – 18; Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (8-4) – 16; Hawthorne (1A) (2-2) – 12; Lake Minneola (Minneola) (6A) (9-4) – 8; Forest (Ocala) (6A) (9-4) – 7; Central (Brooksville) (4A) (8-3) – 6; Deltona (5A) (10-4) – 5; Interlachen (3A) (11-4) – 4; Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (9-3) – 3; Oak Hall (Gainesville) (2A) (7-1) – 2; Wildwood (1A) (8-4) – 2; DeLand (7A) (3-9) – 1; Newberry (1A) (9-2) – 1.