The Prep Zone Power Poll powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville – Boys’ Basketball Poll #10
GAINESVILLE — Many of the top 20 boys’ basketball teams in The Prep Zone Power Poll won their regional playoff openers last week.
That includes the top-ranked team, the Providence (Jacksonville) Stallions, who rolled once again and are now just one win away from returning to Lakeland.
The Stallions (23-5) pounded Maclay (Tallahassee), 92-54, in a Region 1-4A semifinal last Thursday. Providence has won 14 in a row and haven’t lost in the calendar year 2017 to this point, and will advance back to the 4A state semifinals at The Lakeland Center next week if they beat #11 P.K. Yonge at home Tuesday in the region final.
Providence, a three-time state champion, missed out on advancing to the state semis a year ago after a region final loss at The First Academy (Orlando). They are once again a unanimous #1 team as they received all seven first place votes.
Remaining second is Creekside (St. Johns). The Knights (25-3) cruised past Atlantic Coast (Jacksonville) 59-45 in their Region 1-8A quarterfinal. Creekside hosts #17 Robert E. Lee (Jacksonville) in a region semifinal game Tuesday night. Lee (17-7) moves in to the poll after a 59-54 opening round win over Buchholz (Gainesville).
Staying #3 this week is Vanguard (Ocala). The Knights (22-6) eliminated St. Augustine 65-53 in the 7A region quarterfinals.
Next up for Vanguard, for the fourth time this season, is fourth-ranked Gainesville in a Region 1-7A semifinal on Tuesday. The Purple Hurricanes (25-3) hit the road and knocked off then-#19 Englewood (Jacksonville) 58-43 in another region quarterfinal.
Vanguard has won two of the three previous meetings, including 64-57 in overtime in the District 4-7A championship game on February 10. This is also the 8th meeting between the Purple Hurricanes and Knights in the last two seasons, with Gainesville winning four of the previous seven, including an 85-83 overtime classic in last year’s 6A region semifinal at The Purple Palace.
Rounding out the top five this week is Ribault (Jacksonville).
The Trojans (23-6) pounded Baker County (Glen St. Mary) 66-32 in their 6A playoff opener. Next up for the Trojans, another showdown with district rival and 8th-ranked Terry Parker (Jacksonville). The Braves (22-3), who lost to Ribault in the District 3-6A championship game, advanced to the region semifinal following a 53-39 win at Orange Park in a 6A region quarterfinal.
The Villages falls a spot to 6th this week despite winning it’s playoff opener. The Buffalo (26-2) survived Master’s Academy (Oviedo) 63-60 in their 5A region opener, and now face an even bigger test in the region semifinal at defending 3A state champion Windermere Prep.
Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville) moves up one spot to 7th. The Sharks (26-1) won their Region 2-6A quarterfinal 53-48 at Zephyrhills. Up next, a trip across town to face the only team to beat them this season, #T-14 Central (Brooksville). Central (19-9) advanced to the region semifinal with a 78-74 win over Ridgewood (New Port Richey).
Raines (Jacksonville) rounds out the top 10. The Vikings (19-9) advanced with an easy win over Interlachen, and now will hit the road to Starke to take on Bradford, who eliminated Jackson (Jacksonville) in a 5A region quarterfinal.
Moving into the poll this week along with Lee is Trinity Christian (Deltona), which is tied for 18th, and Palatka, who enters at #20. Trinity Christian hosts St. Francis (Gainesville) in a 3A region final, with a trip to Lakeland on the line. Palatka travels to Santa Fe (Alachua) in a 6A region semifinal.
Atlantic (Port Orange) saw its season end with an opening round loss in 7A at Edgewater (Orlando), and dropped 11 spaces to a tie for 18th. Englewood and Fernandina Beach drop out this week.
This is the final poll until after the FHSAA Boys Basketball State Championships in Lakeland.
The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, basketball, baseball & softball 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.
PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2016-17 BOYS BASKETBALL POLL #10
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, record through 2/17, and total voting points)
1. Providence (Jacksonville) (4A) (7) (23–5) – 140
2. Creekside (St. Johns) (8A) (25-3) – 133
3. Vanguard (Ocala) (7A) (22-6) – 122
4. Gainesville (7A) (25-3) – 117
5. Ribault (Jacksonville) (6A) (23-6) – 110
6. The Villages (5A) (26-2) – 106
7. Nature Coast (Brooksville) (6A) (26-1) – 98
8. Terry Parker (Jacksonville) (6A) (22-3) – 80
9. Hawthorne (1A) (23-5) – 80
10. Raines (Jacksonville) (5A) (19-9) – 79
11. P.K. Yonge (Gainesville) (5A) (19-7) – 77
12. Madison County (1A) (22-4) – 64
13. Leesburg (6A) (19-6) – 51
T-14. Central (Brooksville) (6A) (19-9) – 43
T-14. Wildwood (1A) (23-3) – 43
16. Deltona (7A) (16-10) – 32
17. Robert E. Lee (Jacksonville) (8A) (17-7) – 22
T-18. Atlantic (Port Orange) (7A) (23-5) – 14
T-18. Trinity Christian (Deltona) (3A) (20-8) – 14
20. Palatka (6A) (19-8) – 13
Also receiving votes: Flagler Palm Coast (9A) (17-11) – 5; Temple Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (24-3) – 5; Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (6A) (20-7) -4; North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) (2A) (20-8) – 4; Santa Fe (Alachua) (6A) (18-10) – 4.