The Prep Zone Power Poll powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville – 2021-22 Girls Basketball Poll #1 (Preseason rankings)
Oakleaf (Orange Park) begins girls basketball season as No. 1 team after first state semifinal appearance last winter
GAINESVILLE — With the girls and boys basketball seasons getting started in The Prep Zone area, it’s time for the first all-classification regional rankings of the new season.
On the girls side, the preseason power poll is a pretty familiar group of teams to start. But there are some question marks heading into the 2021-22 season.
Oakleaf (Orange Park), which advanced to its first state semifinal in program history last winter and finished as the top-ranked team in the 2020-21 final poll, starts the new season on top as well.
The Knights, who were 24-3 a year ago and lost to eventual 7A state champion Plant (Tampa) in their first trip to Lakeland, start the 2021-22 season receiving six of the seven first-place votes to remain No. 1. However, Oakleaf has a lot of holes to fill and graduations to make up from the state semifinal season a year ago.
Receiving the other first-place vote and coming in at No. 2 is last year’s 4A state semifinalist, Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville). The Crusaders made their second straight appearance in Lakeland after finishing as the state runner-up in 2019-20.
Last year’s Crusaders team finished 20-10 and lost to nationally-ranked Lake Highland Prep (Orlando) for the second straight year at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland. Bishop Kenny finished last season 2nd and starts in the same place this year, but they must replace all-time leading scorer Jasmyne Roberts, now playing at Miami.
Ribault (Jacksonville) is 3rd. The Trojans were knocked out by Bishop Kenny, 44-39, in a region semifinal matchup last year, and has a good group coming back in 2021-22.
Ribault (17-4) finished last season ranked 5th.
Right behind Ribault at No. 4 is Spruce Creek (Port Orange). The Hawks finished last season ranked #6 with an 18-6 record but were knocked out by Oakleaf in the Region 1-7A semifinals.
Two teams are tied for 5th.
Wildwood, which is considered one of the favorites in 1A this season, shares the spot along with St. Augustine. The Yellow Jackets finished last season ranked 3rd at 26-2 and advance to their first 5A state semifinal in program history.
Last year’s 1A state runner-up Hawthorne is No. 7. The Hornets, who won their first girls state title in 2020, just missed out on going back-to-back last winter, losing in the state championship game to Ponce De Leon, 40-37.
Hawthorne, which finished 4th in the final power poll a year ago, is expected to contend for the 1A state crown again.
The rest of the top 10 consists of Raines (Jacksonville) at No. 8, 9th-ranked Nease (Ponte Vedra), and Mainland (Daytona Beach), which is ranked 10th.
The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, volleyball, girls basketball, boys 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 – 2021-22 GIRLS BASKETBALL POLL #1 (PRESEASON POLL)
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, 2020-21 final record, and total voting points)
1. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (7A) (5) (24-3) – 119
2. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (4A) (1) (20-10) – 113
3. Ribault (Jacksonville) (4A) (17-4) – 84
4. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (7A) (18-6) – 79
5T. St. Augustine (5A) (26-2) – 74
5T. Wildwood (1A) (18-4) – 74
7. Hawthorne (1A) (20-5) – 73
8. Raines (Jacksonville) (4A) (19-6) – 72
9. Nease (Ponte Vedra) (7A) (19-7) – 66
10. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (5A) (20-3) – 62
11. Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (13-7) – 61
12. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (7A) (15-7) – 53
13. Buchholz (Gainesville) (6A) (15-5) – 52
14. Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (4A) (13-6) – 44
15. Trenton (1A) (23-5) – 40
16. Ponte Vedra (6A) (16-7) – 27
17. St. John’s Country Day (Orange Park) (2A) (8-5) – 26
18T. Crystal River (4A) (19-4) – 17
18T. St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine) (2A) (20-1) – 17
18T. University Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (10-14) – 17
Also receiving votes: Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (6-8) – 15; The Villages (4A) (20-7) – 14; North Marion (Citra) (4A) (17-5) -13; Orange Park (5A) (13-13) – 13; Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (9-14) – 9; Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (6A) (18-4) – 8; Eustis (4A) (13-6) – 6; Hernando Christian Academy (Brooksville) (2A) (15-1) – 5; P.K Yonge (Gainesville) (3A) (3-6) – 3; West Port (Ocala) (7A) (11-11) – 3; Gainesville (6A) (5-9) – 2; Sandalwood (Jacksonville) (7A) (6-9) – 1.