Providence (Jacksonville) remains unanimous No. 1 heading into final two weeks
GAINESVILLE — The high school basketball regular season is winding down for 2022-23 with a little over two weeks until district tournaments.
But the teams in The Prep Zone Power Poll are busy on the court, with plenty of MLK Classics around the area the last two weeks.
Once again, the team at the top is Providence (Jacksonville).
The Stallions remained the unanimous No. 1 team in the all-classification regional rankings.
Providence (16-1) has won six games in a row since their only loss of the season to 7A No. 3 and No. 7 overall statewide Winter Haven in the semifinals of the Kingdom of the Sun tournament in Ocala.
The Stallions, who are ranked No. 1 in 3A and No. 5 statewide by MaxPreps, picked up wins the last two weeks against No. 10 Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville), No. 12 Orange Park, No. 6 Ponte Vedra, and Bolles (Jacksonville).
That was enough to give Providence all eight first-place votes again this week.
North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) moved up a spot to 2nd this week.
The Eagles (13-5), who are ranked 3rd in 2A and 24th overall in Florida, also beat Impact Christian, 65-57, on the road and picked up wins over the 5th-ranked team in Georgia, Alexander (Douglasville), along with victories against Booker T. Washington (Pensacola) and San Jose Prep (Jacksonville) with their only loss coming on the road to The Rock (Gainesville) national team.
Paxon (Jacksonville) dropped a spot to No. 3. The Golden Eagles (14-3) defeated No. 14 Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) but dropped games to Orange Park and Johnson (GA).
Oakleaf (Orange Park) keeps rolling and moving up the rankings, this week up three spots to 4th.
The Knights (16-1) have won 11 games in a row since their only loss, which came in overtime to top-ranked Providence on December 9th at the Fortegra Invitational in Jacksonville. Oakleaf pounded No. 12 Orange Park, 76-45, and also beat Bartram Trail (St. Johns) over the last two weeks.
Rounding out the top five is Ribault (Jacksonville). The Trojans (15-3) also beat Impact Christian Academy, 58-41, and beat First Coast (Jacksonville), with their only loss over the last two week coming to 5A No. 1 and No. 21 overall Suncoast (Riviera Beach) at the MLK Classic at Ed White (Jacksonville).
Ponte Vedra dropped three slots to No. 6. The Sharks (11-5) beat Palatka and Creekside (Jacksonville), but also lost to Suncoast and top-ranked Providence.
Gainesville (14-4) moved up two spots to No. 7 this week after its sixth win in a row since a loss at the buzzer to Fort Myers at the Holiday Hoopfest in Naples on December 27.
The Hurricanes picked up road wins at Buchholz (Gainesville) and Eastside (Gainesville) and also held off No. 13 Columbia (Lake City), 63-62.
Rounding out the top 10 is No. 8 Nease, 9th-ranked Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) and Impact Christian at No. 10.
Bishop Kenny continued its rapid ascent in the rankings, up six spots and into the top 10 at No. 9.
The Crusaders (15-3) have won nine games in a row since a loss to Belen Jesuit (Miami) at the St. Pius Christmas tournament in Atlanta on December 27th. Bishop Kenny’s other two losses came to top 10 teams Nease and Paxon.
Episcopal (Jacksonville) is the only new team in the poll this week at No. 20. The Eagles (13-5) replace Leesburg, which was ranked 17th in the previous poll.
The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, girls basketball, boys basketball, softball & baseball 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 BY ANYTIME FITNESS OF GAINESVILLE – 2022-23 BOYS BASKETBALL POLL #4
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, current record through 1/16, and total voting points)
1. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (8) (16-1) – 160
2. North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) (2A) (13-5) – 146
3. Paxon (Jacksonville) (4A) (14-3) – 139
4. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (6A) (16-1) – 128
5. Ribault (Jacksonville) (4A) (15-3) – 125
6. Ponte Vedra (6A) (11-5) – 120
7. Gainesville (6A) (14-4) – 111
8. Nease (Ponte Vedra) (6A) (14-4) – 101
9. Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville) (4A) (15-3) – 89
10. Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville) (2A) (12-6) – 88
11. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (5A) (12-5) – 87
12. Orange Park (6A) (13-7) – 56
13. Columbia (Lake City) (5A) (11-7) – 50
14. Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (4A) (9-9) – 47
15. Fleming Island (Orange Park) (6A) (11-6) – 39
16. Santa Fe (Alachua) (4A) (13-5) – 38
17T. St. Joseph Academy (St. Augustine) (2A) (12-4) – 33
17T. The Villages (4A) (11-6) – 33
19. Mount Dora Christian Academy (2A) (13-4) – 24
20. Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (13-5) – 20
Also receiving votes: New Smyrna Beach (6A) (13-2) – 10; North Marion (Citra) (4A) (12-4) – 8; Williston (1A) (13-5) – 7; Interlachen (3A) (14-4) – 4; Lake Minneola (Minneola) (6A) (12-6) – 4; Leesburg (5A) (8-7) – 4; Umatilla (4A) (16-2) – 2; Hawthorne (1A) (4-2) – 1; Oak Hall (Gainesville) (2A) (11-2) – 1.