Providence (Jacksonville) a unanimous No. 1 heading into 2015
Gainesville – The top five in the Prep Zone Power Poll remained the same following the Christmas break, but with one exception.
Providence (Jacksonville) is now a unanimous number one.
The Stallions (16-1) went 7-1 over the holiday break, suffering their first loss of the season against Centerville (Ohio), 56-54, at the Arby’s Classic in Bristol, Tennessee. They received all seven first-place votes and also moved up to #1 in the Class 3A state poll.
Lake Minneola, which was receiving first-place votes in the previous three polls, remained second following a 3-1 record. The Class 6A top-ranked Hawks (12-2) defeated defending 8A state champion Winter Park for the second time this season, but they lost their second game of the year to Evans (Orlando), the No. 1 team in the 8A state poll.
Unbeaten Bolles (Jacksonville), which went undefeated during the regular season last year but lost in the first round of the 4A state playoffs, is still third following a 6-0 record and two holiday tournament titles. The Bulldogs (14-0), ranked 2nd in the 4A state poll, won the Bartram Trail/St. Johns Challenge (Dec. 29-31) and the KSA/Disney Tournament (Dec. 18-20).
With their 12th straight win heading into the resumption of classes, Jackson (Jacksonville) remained fourth. The Tigers (13-1) went 5-0 over the break and are also just behind the ‘Dogs in the 4A state rankings, where they are ranked third.
Gainesville High, which is ranked second in the 6A state poll behind Lake Minneola, rounds out the top five. The Purple Hurricanes (14-2) won the Kiwanis Christmas Tournament at Bradford (Starke), Dec. 18-20, and went 4-1 at the Chick-Fil-A Classic in Tucker (Georgia), Dec. 26-30, against some of the Peach Belt State’s best.
Wolfson (Jacksonville) moved up a couple of spots from eighth to sixth following a 5-1 record. The only defeat for the Wolfpack (14-1), ranked eighth in 6A, came against No. 10 Ed White (Jacksonville), 68-65, on December 16.
Deltona jumped into the top 10, moving up five spots to seventh following a 7-0 record. The Wolves’ (16-2) only losses have come against 8A #4 Ocoee and 6A #5 Seabreeze (Daytona Beach), which is ranked 13th in this week’s poll.
Suwannee (Live Oak), Flagler Palm Coast and Ed White (Jacksonville), all of whom are ranked in the state poll, round out the top 10.
Episcopal (Jacksonville) and Leesburg are in the poll for the first time this season at Nos. 18 & 20, respectively.
The Class 4A Eagles (12-2) defeated #11 Baker County (Glen St. Mary), 54-53, at the First Coast Christmas Tournament (12/31) and also defeated a pair of 6A teams (Orange Park & Lee), while the Yellow Jackets (12-5) went 6-2 with both losses to state-ranked teams. Leesburg also had wins against previous #6 Eastside (Gainesville), 61-51, at Dante Anderson Memorial Invitational (1/3), along with wins against 8A Timber Creek (Orlando) and 7A George Jenkins at the Ocoee Great 8 Holiday Tournament in late December.
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 – 2014-15 BASKETBALL POLL #4
(School, followed by first-place votes, classification, overall record and results since 12/16)
1. Providence (Jacksonville) (7) (3A) (16-1) – 140
2. Lake Minneola (6A) (12-2) – 130
3. Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (14-0) – 126
4. Jackson (Jacksonville) (4A) (13-1) – 120
5. Gainesville (6A) (14-2) – 114
6. Wolfson (Jacksonville) (6A) (14-1) – 101
7. Deltona (6A) (16-2) – 86
8. Suwannee (Live Oak) (5A) (11-3) – 84
9. Flagler Palm Coast (8A) (12-2) – 83
10. Ed White (Jacksonville) (6A) (9-4) – 77
11. Baker County (Glen St. Mary) (5A) (11-2) – 65
12. Eustis (5A) (12-1) – 63
13. Seabreeze (Daytona Beach) (6A) (11-1) – 52
14. Hawthorne (1A) (14-2) – 42
15. Sandalwood (Jacksonville) (8A) (9-3) – 41
16. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (5A) (9-5) – 40
17. Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (10-5) – 27
18. Episcopal (Jacksonville) (4A) (12-2) – 21
19. Eastside (Gainesville) (5A) (9-7) – 20
20. Leesburg (6A) (12-5) – 13
Also receiving votes: Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (4A) (10-3) – 9; East Ridge (Clermont) (7A) (8-2) – 7; Vanguard (Ocala) (6A) (9-5) – 3; Williston (1A) (10-5) – 3; Buchholz (Gainesville) (7A) (8-4) – 2; Hamilton County (Jasper) (1A) (9-6) – 1.