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

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Oakleaf (Orange Park) new No. 1 heading into state playoffs

GAINESVILLE — District tournament play is in the books and January is already history.

As we are now almost halfway through February, it’s time to start the road to Lakeland for the girls basketball teams in The Prep Zone Power Poll.

And with the state playoffs getting underway, we once again have a new team at the top of the rankings this week.

Oakleaf (Orange Park), which defeated former #1 and current 9th-ranked Nease (Ponte Vedra), 61-52, to win the District 1-7A title last week, received five of the eight first-place votes and is the new top-ranked team.

The Knights (21-2) open up play in the 7A-1 region quarterfinals on Thursday against Lake Mary.

Oakleaf replaces Raines (Jacksonville) in the #1 spot from the previous poll. Raines (19-5) drops all the way to 6th after losing the District 3-4A championship game 51-36 to then-#5 Ribault (Jacksonville).

The Vikings now face a tough playoff opener Thursday night in a Region 1-4A quarterfinal at #8 Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville). The two-time defending state runner-up Crusaders knocked Raines out of the playoffs a year ago in the Region 1-4A final.

Ribault moves up to 2nd after beating rival Raines for the district title.

The Trojans (17-4) host Bolles (Jacksonville) on Thursday night to open up play in the 4A playoffs. Ribault received two first-place votes this week as well.

Spruce Creek (Port Orange) remains 3rd after capturing the District 2-7A championship. Next up for the Hawks (17-5) is a tough regional quarterfinal in 7A against Nease on Thursday.

Another team on a roll, St. Augustine, is #4.

The Yellow Jackets (23-1) have won 18 games in a row since an overtime loss to Nease on December 7, and defeated #20 Ponte Vedra 49-45 to take the District 4-5A tourney title last week.

St. Augustine received the final first-place vote and opens up play in the Region 1-5A quarterfinal this week against Robert E. Lee (Jacksonville).

Rounding out the top five is defending 1A state champion Hawthorne.

The Hornets (17-4) had no problem with Chiefland and Williston in the District 7-1A tournament, and open up defense of their first state girls basketball title on Thursday at home against Fort Meade.

Waiting in the Region 4-1A final with a possible trip to the Final Four in Lakeland could be #10 Wildwood.

Following Raines in the second five is 7th-ranked Mainland (Daytona Beach).

The Bucs dropped only their second game of the season in the District 4-6A championship game, 69-55, to Wekiva (Apopka).

Mainland (19-2) will hit the road for the first round of the playoffs, but will face a surprise district champion with a losing record in 7-9 First Coast (Jacksonville) on Thursday.

Bishop Kenny (17-9) had no trouble with Menendez (St. Augustine) or Bolles in clinching another District 4-4A tournament title. But the Crusaders now face a tough first-round opponent in Raines, who Bishop Kenny knocked off last year to advance back to Lakeland for the second straight year.

Making big moves in the second 10 this week are Buchholz (Gainesville), up four spots to 11th after beating #13T Columbia (Lake City) 50-40 to win the District 2-6A championship, and St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine), which is up five slots to #12 and remains the only unbeaten team in the top 20 at 20-0 after capturing the District 3-3A title.

New to the rankings this week are District 5-4A champion North Marion (Citra) at 16th, and District 6-4A winner The Villages at #18.

Ponte Vedra also moves in at No. 20.

Dropping out from the previous poll are #13 Fletcher (Neptune Beach), #16 Flagler Palm Coast, and #19 Episcopal (Jacksonville).

Fletcher and Flagler Palm Coast were both eliminated early in their respective district tournaments and didn’t qualify for the regional playoffs. Episcopal will play in the Region 1-3A quarterfinal on Thursday at Florida High (Tallahassee).

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 – 2020-21 GIRLS BASKETBALL POLL #5
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, record through 2/7, and total voting points)
1. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (7A) (5) (21-2) – 152
2. Ribault (Jacksonville) (4A) (2) (17-4) – 145
3. Spruce Creek (Port Orange) (7A) (17-5) – 136
4. St. Augustine (5A) (1) (23-1) – 131
5. Hawthorne (1A) (17-4) – 124
6. Raines (Jacksonville) (4A) (19-5) – 123
7. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (6A) (19-2) – 120
8. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (4A) (17-9) – 115
9. Nease (Ponte Vedra) (7A) (19-6) – 95
10. Wildwood (1A) (17-3) – 93
11. Buchholz (Gainesville) (6A) (14-4) – 66
12. St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine) (3A) (20-0) – 62
13T, Columbia (Lake City) (6A) (13-6) – 59
13T. Crystal River (4A) (17-3) – 59
15. Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (3A) (12-5) – 55
16. North Marion (Citra) (4A) (17-4) – 34
17. Trenton (1A) (22-4) – 28
18. The Villages (4A) (19-6) – 20
19. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (7A) (15-7) – 15
20. Ponte Vedra (5A) (15-6) – 9
Also receiving votes: Fletcher (Neptune Beach) (6A) (18-4) – 8; Terry Parker (Jacksonville) (5A) (11-8) – 8; Eustis (4A) (13-6) – 5; Flagler Palm Coast (7A) (13-8) -5; Hernando Christian Academy (2A) (13-0) – 5; Madison County (1A) (11-4) – 4; Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (12-7) – 3; Lecanto (5A) (17-5) – 1.

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