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The Prep Zone Power Poll powered by Anytime Fitness – 2020-21 Boys Basketball Poll #5

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Eastside (Gainesville) extends winning streak to 13 in a row and moves into top spot of regional all-classification rankings for first time this season

GAINESVILLE — With only two weeks left in the regular season for high school boys’ basketball, there’s a change at the top of The Prep Zone Power Poll.

And the hottest team is now the top-ranked squad for the first time in 2020-21.

The Eastside (Gainesville) Rams went a perfect 5-0 over the last two weeks, including wins over #13 The Villages and city rivals Gainesville and Buchholz (Gainesville). That was enough to move Eastside to #1 in this week’s all-classification regional rankings.

Eastside (16-1), which has won 13 in a row and hasn’t lost a game since December 10 in overtime against #17 Santa Fe (Alachua), is ranked #2 in the state in 4A according to Max Preps.

The Rams, who travel to #15 Hawthorne on Friday night as part of the Game of the Week on 106.9 FM “I am Country,” received seven of the nine first-place votes and move up from 3rd in the previous rankings.

Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville), which held the top spot in the four previous polls, drops to 2nd.

The Tigers (11-4) dropped a 73-43 decision to undefeated and nationally-ranked Orlando Christian Prep, the defending 2A state champion, at the Wally Keller Classic in Punta Gorda last weekend.

That was enough to drop Andrew Jackson one spot, although they are favored to win the Gateway Conference Boys Basketball Tournament in Jacksonville this week. The Tigers also defeated #5 Bishop Snyder (Jacksonville) 54-42 on January 12.

Jackson received the other two first-place votes.

Providence (Jacksonville) is third.

Despite losing 42-39 at Bishop Snyder on January 15, the Stallions (17-3) also picked up wins over #7 Ponte Vedra 45-36 and beat #8 Bolles 46-44 at the buzzer last Friday.

Providence, which only drops one spot from the previous ranking, is also ranked 4th in 3A this week according to Max Preps, right behind Andrew Jackson.

Paxon (Jacksonville) is 4th.

The Golden Eagles (14-5) picked up wins over #16 Robert E. Lee at the Duel in Duval last weekend and against #16 Forest (Ocala) at the MLK Classic on January 16th, with their only loss over the last two weeks by two points to #20 First Coast (Jacksonville).

Bishop Snyder, which drops one spot from the previous poll, rounds out the top five.

The Cardinals (14-5), ranked #5 in 3A according to Max Preps, defeated Providence and Mainland (Daytona Beach) but also picked up losses against Jackson and 2A #3 Central Florida Christian Academy (Ocoee) at the Duel in Duval.

Columbia (Lake City) makes a big move, up four spots to 6th.

The Tigers (11-4) have won eight of nine games since the beginning of 2021, with their only loss coming to the #1 team in 6A, East Lake (Tarpon Springs), at the MLK Classic at Forest (Ocala) on January 16.

They also picked up wins over then-#20 P.K. Yonge (Gainesville), RV Madison County, Gainesville, and RV West Nassau over that span.

Ponte Vedra continues to roll, as they are 17-2 after winning three of four games over the past few weeks.

The Sharks move up two spaces with their only loss over the last couple of weeks coming at #3 Providence.

Bolles is up three spots to #8 as the Bulldogs (13-4) won six of seven games over the last two weeks with the only loss coming at the buzzer at Providence.

The ‘Dogs also picked up wins over #9T Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville), RV Fleming Island (Orange Park) and Orange Park during that span.

Rounding out the top 10 are two teams tied for ninth, Bishop Kenny and Nease (Ponte Vedra).

The Crusaders (10-5) lost at Bolles and to then-RV Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville), but also knocked off then-#7 Palatka and then-#8 Episcopal (Jacksonville) to move back into the top 10 after being tied for 11th in the previous poll.

Nease (13-4) was 4-0 over the past few weeks and is in the top 10 for the first time this season. Bishop Kenny and Nease edged #11 Episcopal by only one point.

Moving back into the rankings this week is #18 Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville), which has won six in a row, including victories over Bishop Kenny as well as RV Fletcher (Neptune Beach) and IMG Academy Blue (Bradenton).

Williston moves into the poll for the first time this year as the Red Devils (12-4) are ranked 19th. They beat #15 Hawthorne along with RV Newberry to get them into the rankings this week.

Moving out from the previous poll are North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) and P.K. Yonge (Gainesville).

The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, volleyball, 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 – 2020-21 BOYS BASKETBALL POLL #5
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, record through 1/24, and total voting points)
1. Eastside (Gainesville) (4A) (7) (16-1) – 176
2. Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (3A) (2) (11-4) – 170
3. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (17-3) – 160
4. Paxon (Jacksonville) (4A) (14-5) – 155
5. Bishop Snyder (Jacksonville) (3A) (14-5) – 150
6. Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (11-4) – 125
7. Ponte Vedra (5A) (17-2) – 124
8. Bolles (Jacksonville) (4A) (13-4) – 109
9T. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (4A) (10-5) – 92
9T. Nease (Ponte Vedra) (7A) (13-4) – 92
11. Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (16-4) – 91
12. Forest (Ocala) (6A) (10-4) – 80
13. The Villages (4A) (10-6) – 66
14. Palatka (4A) (11-5) – 50
15. Hawthorne (1A) (10-5) – 44
16. Robert E. Lee (Jacksonville) (5A) (12-7) – 42
17. Santa Fe (Alachua) (4A) (10-4) – 41
18. Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville) (2A) (10-6) – 34
19. Williston (1A) (12-4) – 23
20. First Coast (Jacksonville) (6A) (9-4) – 17
Also receiving votes: Lecanto (5A) (16-2) – 11; Madison County (1A) (9-3) – 9; Mount Dora Christian Academy (2A) (15-4) – 8; West Nassau (Callahan) (4A) (10-11) – 8; Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (6A) (11-7) – 5; Leesburg (5A) (10-3) – 5; Newberry (1A) (10-5) – 5; Fleming Island (Orange Park) (6A) (12-8) – 3; Wildwood (1A) (12-7) – 3; Flagler Palm Coast (7A) (9-4) – 2; Taylor County (Perry) (1A) (10-3) – 1.

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