Santa Fe, Hawthorne ranked in boys power poll

One of the top teams in the Sunshine State sits atop the first boys basketball regional rankings of 2022.

Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville), state runners-up in two of the past three years, remained on top of The Prep Zone Power Poll following an 11-2 start to the 2021-22 season.

Jackson, which is ranked 11th overall in Florida by MaxPreps and is third in Class 4A, has wins against No. 7 Riverside (Jacksonville), who they split with, and No. 3 Fleming Island (Orange Park), which swept Riverside (11-3) by an average margin of victory of 16.5 points.

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The top-ranked Tigers’ only other loss came against non-FHSAA member Potter’s House Christian (Jacksonville). They received five of the seven first-place votes to remain No. 1.

Hawthorne's Lelond Johnson and the Hornets are ranked No. 16

Fleming Island (15-1), whose only loss was at home against No. 1 Jackson, 67-51, in the Battle on the Island tournament championship game, is ranked No. 1 in Class 6A by MaxPreps.

Paxon (Jacksonville) moved up three spots to No. 2. The Golden Eagles, who are ranked fifth in Class 4A by MaxPreps, are 12-1 with their only loss, 56-54, at previous No. 6 Bishop Snyder (Jacksonville), which dropped out of the preseason rankings following a 5-6 start. Paxon, which has won eight in a row since the loss, received the other two first-place votes.

Ponte Vedra is No. 4. The Sharks (11-2), who are ranked fifth in 6A, moved up six spots from No. 10 following wins against No. 12 Nease (Ponte Vedra), No. 6 Providence, and 7A No. 11 Evans (Orlando).

Trinity Catholic (Ocala) rounds out the top five. The Celtics (13-2), who are ranked 7th in 3A by MaxPreps, have wins against No. 14 Santa Fe (twice), sixth-ranked Providence, RV (received votes) Columbia (Lake City) twice, and 5A No. 9 Godby (Tallahassee). Their only losses were at 6A Buchholz (Gainesville) and against 7A No. 5 Apopka, 57-53, at the Jim Haley Christmas Classic at Trinity Catholic last month.

Following No. 6 Providence (7-3), which has losses to No. 4 Ponte Vedra by five, 7A No. 4 Windermere by three, and No. 5 Trinity Catholic by three, is No. 7 Riverside, Leesburg (9-3) and Orange Park, who are tied for eighth, and Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (10-3) in the top 10.

Orange Park made the biggest jump, from outside the rankings all the way up to No. 8, following an 11-0 start. The Raiders are ranked No. 4 in 5A by MaxPreps.

Mount Dora Christian (11-0), which is ranked 54th overall in Florida by MaxPreps, is the only other undefeated team.

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.

THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2021-22 BOYS BASKETBALL POLL #2

(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, record through 1/3, total voting points)

1. Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (4A) (5) (11-2) – 138

2. Paxon (Jacksonville) (4A) (2) (12-1) – 130

3. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (6A) (15-1) – 117

4. Ponte Vedra (6A) (11-2) – 116

5. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (3A) (13-2) – 111

6. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (7-3) – 97

7. Riverside (Jacksonville) (5A) (11-3) – 88

8T. Leesburg (5A) (9-3) – 85

8T. Orange Park (5A) (11-0) – 85

10. Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (6A) (10-3) – 74

11. The Villages (4A) (9-3) – 65

12. Nease (Ponte Vedra) (7A) (10-4) – 54

13. Mount Dora Christian (2A) (11-0) – 43

14. Santa Fe (Alachua) (4A) (8-5) – 41

15. North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) (2A) (8-3) – 35

16. Hawthorne (1A) (4-2) – 29

17. Springstead (Spring Hill) (5A) (11-2) – 28

18. Ribault (Jacksonville) (5A) (9-4) – 24

19. DeLand (7A) (9-3) – 22

20T. Forest (Ocala) (6A) (9-5) – 19

20T. Palatka (4A) (8-3) – 19

Also receiving votes: Newberry (1A) (9-1) – 15; North Marion (Citra) (4A) (9-4) – 13; Creekside (St. Johns) (7A) (8-3) – 12; Mainland (Daytona Beach) (5A) (7-5) – 4; Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (6-7) – 3; South Lake (Groveland) (6A) (6-2) – 3.

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