The Prep Zone Power Poll powered by Anytime Fitness – 2019-20 Boys Basketball Poll #2
GAINESVILLE — As 2019 turns to 2020 and a new decade, the teams in The Prep Zone Power Poll for boys’ basketball saw a lot of action during the holidays with many tournaments around the area.
Despite some changes in the top 10, the first two teams remained the same in the all-classification regional rankings.
Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville), which advanced to the state semifinals in Lakeland in 2019 for the first time in 17 years, remains No. 1 in the latest rankings after winning seven of eight games over the holiday break.
The Tigers (10-1) received six of the nine first-place votes to stay atop the 2nd poll of the high school basketball season. Among the wins for Andrew Jackson were #15 Fleming Island (Orange Park), 60-48, to win the Battle on the Island tournament title, along with wins against Ed White (Jacksonville) and Ribault (Jacksonville).
They also defeated then-#3 Providence (Jacksonville) in an MLK Classic last week.
The Tigers only loss so far came the night before in that same classic, 55-48, to St. Andrews (Boca Raton), which is ranked 7th in 3A according to Max Preps.
Paxon remains 2nd and received another first-place vote after going 5-2 over the holidays.
The Golden Eagles (12-3) also advanced to the state semifinals in 2019, and for them it was the first state final four appearance in 54 years.
As for Paxon this season, they have been on a roll, as they won the EC 16 Invitational at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, beating Miller Grove (GA), 55-43, in the championship game. The Golden Eagles also crushed Seminole (Sanford), the #1 team in 7A, 83-58, at the Sun Bash Invitational in Tampa.
Paxon also suffered a close one-point loss in the same tournament to the 2nd-ranked team in 6A, East Lake (Tarpon Springs), and also dropped a 64-55 decision to 8th-ranked Impact Christian (Jacksonville), which moves up 11 slots this week and into the top 10.
Robert E. Lee (Jacksonville) moves up four spots and also receives a first-place vote after going a perfect 4-0 over the holidays.
The Generals (11-1) had a win over St. Andrew’s and Calvary Christian Academy (Fort Lauderdale) in the same MLK Classic last week at Andrew Jackson.
The Villages stays put at #4 after a 6-2 record over the break.
The Buffalo (12-2) lost to the third-ranked team in Kentucky, Covington Catholic, in the championship game of the Battle at the Villages. The Villages also earned wins over South Sumter (Bushnell) and then-RV Crystal River, along with a four-overtime marathon win against Seffner Christian.
Rounding out the top five is Columbia (Lake City).
The Tigers (11-2) stay put at 5th as they advanced to the championship game of the Hitchcock’s Challenge in Alachua, despite dropping that game to 7A Evans (Orlando). Columbia also knocked off RV Orange Park on the road in the Raider Dome Bracket Buster Shootout, and they were 2-1 in the Henry Clay Holiday Tournament in Lexington, Kentucky.
Providence (Jacksonville) drops three spots and leads off the second five this week.
The Stallions (10-5) were 3-4 over the holiday break but dropped games to state-ranked teams Andrew Jackson, 3A #10 Florida High (Tallahassee), and Windermere, which was a 7A state semifinalist a year ago.
Wildwood is 7th, and is followed by Impact Christian, which received the final first-place vote this week.
The No. 8 Lions (9-2), who are the top-ranked team in 2A according to Max Preps, knocked off Paxon and 4A #5 Tampa Catholic at a tournament in South Carolina, with their only loss over the holidays coming by four points in the same tournament to Bergen Catholic (NJ), which is ranked 4th nationally by Max Preps.
Defending 1A state champion Madison County drops three spots to #9, while Bolles (Jacksonville) rounds out the top 10.
New to the rankings this week are #14 Mount Dora Christian, which is still undefeated at 12-0, along with #16 North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) (10-3), #17 Hilliard (10-1), and St. Augustine (6-1) at #20.
Falling out from the previous poll were Mainland (Daytona Beach), Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville), Nease (Ponte Vedra), and Central (Brooksville).
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 and it is powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.
THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2019-20 BOYS BASKETBALL POLL #2
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, record through 1/4, and total voting points)
1. Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (3A) (6) (10-1) – 175
2. Paxon (Jacksonville) (4A) (1) (12-3) – 169
3. Robert E. Lee (Jacksonville) (5A) (1) (11-1) – 152
4. The Villages (4A) (12-2) – 140
5. Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (11-2) – 137
6. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (10-5) – 133
7. Wildwood (1A) (10-3) – 114
8. Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville) (2A) (1) (9-2) – 107
9. Madison County (1A) (8-2) – 86
10. Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (7-3) – 83
11. Hawthorne (1A) (11-1) – 82
12. Palatka (4A) (8-4) – 72
13. Forest (Ocala) (6A) (10-3) – 70
14. Mount Dora Christian Academy (2A) (12-0) – 64
15. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (6A) (8-4) – 60
16. North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) (2A) (10-3) – 46
17. Hilliard (1A) (10-1) – 38
18. Leesburg (5A) (8-4) – 31
19. Gainesville (6A) (9-3) – 22
20. St. Augustine (5A) (6-1) – 20
Also receiving votes: Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (4A) (9-3) – 19; Bradford (Starke) (4A) (8-1) – 18, Orange Park (5A) (9-3) – 11; Eustis (4A) (20-9) (3-2) – 11; Central (Brooksville) (4A) (10-3) – 8; Nease (Ponte Vedra) (7A) (9-4) – 6; Eustis (4A) (6-3) – 5; North Marion (Citra) (4A) (7-3) – 4; Eastside (Gainesville) (4A) (6-5) – 2.