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The Prep Zone Power Poll powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville – 2023-24 Boys Basketball Poll #2


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Providence (Jacksonville) moves into top spot of regional rankings as calendar turns to 2024

GAINESVILLE – The holiday season can be stressful at times for most people but it also can be relaxing.

For high school basketball players, the holidays mean wall-to-wall hoops and basketball tournaments.

Providence (Jacksonville) compiled a 6-1 record over the holiday break, and that was enough to move the Stallions back to the top of The Prep Zone Power Poll for boys basketball.

They beat the No. 2 team in 5A, Rockledge, and also went 2-1 at SunBash Tampa with a win over 7A No. 7 Windermere. Their only loss over the span was 50-44 to 5A No. 3 Blake (Tampa).

Providence (11-5), which was one of four teams to receive first-place votes in the regional all-classification rankings, picked up four of the 11 votes to move up from No. 2 in the previous poll.

Two teams who were tied for 3rd in the preseason poll are now tied for 2nd in this week’s rankings.

Williston, the defending 1A state champion, went 7-1 over the break with a third-place finish at the Kingdom of the Sun Tournament in Ocala. The Red Devils (15-1) knocked off Hawthorne and Vanguard (Ocala) before dropping their first game of the season to 7A No. 3 and No. 5 overall Winter Haven.

They received three first-place votes this week.

Paxon (Jacksonville), which is tied with Williston, was a perfect 5-0 since the last poll. The Golden Eagles (13-2) had wins over Georgia schools Savannah, Tattnall County, and Toombs County.

Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) made a big move this week, up seven spots to No. 4.

The Tigers (13-3) were 7-0 over the holidays with wins over then-No 1 Mainland (Daytona Beach), two top 10 teams in Ribault (Jacksonville) and Raines (Jacksonville) at the Northwest Classic Christmas Tournament, and they also defeated 4A No. 5 Gibbs (St. Petersburg).

Jackson, which picked up two first-place votes this week, also had a 63-28 romp over Gainesville.

Rounding out the top five is Episcopal (Jacksonville).

The Eagles (13-2) picked up wins over Bolles (Jacksonville) and Father Lopez (Daytona Beach) and went 2-1 at the Bobcat Invitational in Bluffton, South Carolina, with wins over Marietta (GA), South Point (NC), and the only loss over the span coming to Marvin Ridge (NC).

Mainland picked up the final two first-place votes, despite dropping to 6th after being No. 1 in the first rankings.

The Bucs (10-4) were 4-3 over the last few weeks, with losses to Andrew Jackson, 4A No. 6 Lake Highland Prep (Orlando), and Palm Beach Lakes. They had wins over then-No. 20 Riverside (Jacksonville), Tampa Catholic, and Mount Vernon (GA).

Raines (Jacksonville) and Ribault (Jacksonville) flip spots this week, as the Vikings (14-4) moved up from 9th to 7th while Ribault (11-5) remained 8th.

Ponte Vedra (10-5) dropped four spots from the previous ranking but stays in the top 10 at No. 9.

Oakleaf (Orange Park) rounds out the top 10.

The Knights (10-4) dropped three spots despite going 4-1 over the holidays with a 2-1 record at the Gus Gibbs Tournament in DeLand.

Their only loss was to No. 11 Leesburg (10-2), which moved up seven spots this week to lead off the second 10. The Yellow Jackets defeated Oakleaf and Buchholz (Gainesville), with their only loss coming to No. 15 Eustis at the Gus Gibbs Tournament.

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 by sportswriters and sportscasters and it is powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville.

(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, current record through 1/9, and total voting points)
1. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (4) (11-5) – 202
2T. Paxon (Jacksonville) (4A) (13-2) – 199
2T. Williston (1A) (3) (15-1) – 199
4. Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (4A) (2) (13-3) – 184
5. Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (13-2) – 167
6. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (5A) (2) (10-4) – 160
7. Raines (Jacksonville) (4A) (14-4) – 148
8. Ribault (Jacksonville) (4A) (11-5) – 140
9. Ponte Vedra (6A) (10-5) – 139
10. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (6A) (10-4) – 122
11. Leesburg (5A) (10-2) – 114
12. Forest (Ocala) (6A) (12-4) – 84
13. Newberry (1A) (10-3) – 79
14. Fort White (1A) (11-2) – 50
15. Eustis (4A) (14-3) – 42
16. Hilliard (1A) (12-2) – 40
17. New Smyrna Beach (6A) (11-3) – 38
18. Riverside (Jacksonville) (5A) (8-5) – 35
19. Father Lopez (Daytona Beach) (3A) (10-3) – 21
20. Columbia (Lake City) (5A) (9-5) – 20
Also receiving votes: Hawthorne (1A) (5-4) – 19; Gainesville (6A) (8-7) – 17; Mount Dora Christian Academy (2A) (11-5) – 17; North Florida Educational Institute (Jacksonville) (2A) (5-7) – 16; Buchholz (Gainesville) (6A) (8-5) – 15; Palatka (4A) (12-3) – 11; San Jose Prep (Jacksonville) (3A) (8-6) – 11; Central (Brooksville) (4A) (11-3) – 10; The Villages (4A) (7-9) – 10.

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