Providence (Jacksonville) once again #1 in first all-classification regional boys’ basketball rankings of the 2018-19 season
GAINESVILLE — State titles and Final Four appearances have been the norm through the years for the Providence (Jacksonville) boys’ basketball team.
But the 2017-18 season was an abnormal one for the Stallions, who were knocked out in the Class 4A regional finals on a buzzer-beater by P.K. Yonge (Gainesville), 43-42.
However, with most of their players returning from a year ago, Providence once again finds itself at the top of first boys’ basketball all-classification regional rankings for the 2018-19 season.
The Stallions (12-2) dropped the championship game of the Battle of the Villages to defending 2A state champion Miami Christian, 76-74, over the holidays, but they are ranked #1 in 4A and 6th overall in Florida by Max Preps. They earned five of the six first-place votes in The Prep Zone Power Poll.
Mainland (Daytona Beach) is 2nd.
The Bucs (15-1), who were 7A regional finalists a year ago, have won 14 in a row since losing in overtime to 8A #6 Edgewater (Orlando) in the 2nd game of the season. Mainland is ranked 1st in 7A and 7th overall in the state. They received the other first-place vote.
Sitting in 3rd is Hawthorne, the top-ranked team in 1A. The Hornets (10-1) went 3-1 at the Kingdom of the Sun in Ocala, losing only to Bolingbrook (Illinois).
P.K. Yonge (Gainesville) is 4th. The Blue Wave (10-1), who advanced to the 4A state semifinals last March, suffered their first loss of the season last week in the championship game of the Hitchcock’s Classic in Alachua, falling to defending 7A state champion Doral Academy.
Rounding out the top five is University Christian (Jacksonville).
The Christians (12-2) didn’t make the playoffs a year ago but are off to a fast start in 2018-19, with wins over #6 Fleming Island (Orange Park) and #14 Palatka, who they knocked off, 54-53, in overtime last week to win the Palatka Christmas Tournament.
After Fleming Island, the second five consists of Bolles (Jacksonville), two-time defending 6A state champion Leesburg and two Jacksonville schools which are tied for 9th, last year’s 2A state runner-up Impact Christian Academy, and 8A First Coast.
Among the highlights in the second 10 are last year’s 1A state runner-up Madison County at #11, The Villages and University of Florida signee Tre Mann at No. 15, and defending 5A state runner-up Trinity Catholic (Ocala) at #16.
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.
THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2018-19 BOYS BASKETBALL POLL #1
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, current record, and total voting points)
1. Providence (Jacksonville) (4A) (5) (12-2) – 119
2. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (7A) (1) (15-1) – 115
3. Hawthorne (1A) (10-1) – 105
4. P.K. Yonge (Gainesville) (4A) (10-1) – 102
5. University Christian (Jacksonville) (4A) (12-2) – 96
6. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (8A) (9-1) – 78
7. Bolles (Jacksonville) (5A) (11-2) – 76
8. Leesburg (6A) (8-4) – 63
9T. First Coast (Jacksonville) (8A) (10-3) – 62
9T. Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville) (2A) (9-1) – 62
11. Madison County (1A) (8-0) – 56
12. Eastside (Gainesville) (6A) (11-1) – 54
13. Raines (Jacksonville) (5A) (7-2) – 49
14. Palatka (6A) (8-2) – 47
15. The Villages (5A) (7-3) – 46
16. Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (5A) (8-3) – 35
17. Deltona (7A) (8-3) – 27
18. Santa Fe (Alachua) (6A) (8-2) – 17
19. Atlantic (Port Orange) (7A) (11-4) – 13
20. Paxon (Jacksonville) (6A) (8-1) – 8
Also receiving votes: St. Joseph’s Academy (St. Augustine) (4A) (10-0) – 7; Forest (Ocala) (7A) (9-2) – 6; Nature Coast Tech (Brooksville) (6A) (9-1) – 6; Columbia (Lake City) (7A) (7-4) – 5; Wildwood (1A) (8-6) – 3; Bishop Snyder (Jacksonville) (4A) (6-5) – 2; Mount Dora Christian Academy (3A) (11-2) – 1.