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The Prep Zone Power Poll powered by Anytime Fitness of Gainesville – 2023-24 Boys Basketball Poll #5 (FINAL POLL)

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Back-to-back champ Williston finishes No. 1

GAINESVILLE – There was only one area FHSAA Boys Basketball state champion during the 2023-24 season, and that team has finished on top of the all-classification regional rankings.

The Williston Red Devils captured their second straight boys basketball state title with a 61-53 win over Hilliard in the Class 1A state championship game at the RP Funding Center in Lakeland.

This was easily their toughest game of the postseason, as the Red Devils (29-2) won their other three postseason games by an average of 49 points.

Their only two losses came to Winter Haven, which advanced to the 7A state semifinals after finishing as runner-up in 2022-23, and 4A Mater Lakes Academy (Miami), which won the 4A state title a year ago and advanced to the region finals this past season.

Williston received nine of the 10 first-place votes and moved up one spot to finish No. 1 in The Prep Zone Power Poll, which ranks the top 20 teams across 26 counties in Florida.

Class 4A state runner-up Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) finished second.

This was the fourth time in six years that the Tigers (26-4) lost in the state title game, falling to Gibbs (St. Petersburg), 49-43.

Despite the loss, Jackson received the other first-place vote and moved up a spot to No. 2.

Previous No. 1 Providence (Jacksonville) is third.

The Stallions (24-6) advanced to the 3A state semifinals for the second year in a row. They lost a tough state semifinal game in Lakeland to Windermere Prep, which finished as the 3A state runner-up for the second straight year.

Another state semifinalist, Ponte Vedra, is 4th.

The Sharks (23-8) advanced to the 6A state semifinals for the second straight year after finishing as state runner-up in 2023. They returned to Lakeland by defeating Lincoln (Tallahassee), No. 18T Gainesville, and Wiregrass Ranch (Wesley Chapel) on the road.

Rounding out the top five is another state semifinalist.

Mainland (Daytona Beach) was the 5A state runner-up in 2023, and they returned to Lakeland in 2024.

The Bucs (22-7) lost in the 5A state semifinals 53-40 to Blake (Tampa), which was beaten in the state title game by Norland (Miami).

Episcopal (Jacksonville) starts off the second five as the 6th-ranked team. The Eagles are followed by No. 7 Raines (Jacksonville), 8th-ranked Hilliard, No. 9 The Villages, and Paxon (Jacksonville) in the top 10.

Hilliard (25-3) advanced to its first 1A state championship game appearance. The Red Flashes gave Williston their toughest test of the playoffs before falling 61-53.

The Villages (20-12) made the 4A state semifinals for the second straight year. The Buffalo lost 47-43 to Andrew Jackson, after finishing as state runner-up a year ago.

Among the second 10 is No. 13 Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville), which advanced to the 2A state semifinals again.

The Lions (18-11), who have been state runner-up three times previously, lost in the state semifinals to eventual state champion Sagemont (Weston).

Buchholz (Gainesville), which is ranked No. 20, is the only team new to the rankings from the previous poll.

The Bobcats (18-11) won their first regional playoff game in 15 years and they replaced the team they beat in the postseason, previous No. 16 Forest (Ocala), which finished 20-8.

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.

THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2023-24 BOYS BASKETBALL POLL #5 (FINAL POLL)
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, final 2023-24 record, and total voting points)
1. Williston (1A) (9) (29-2) – 195
2. Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) (4A) (1) (26-4) – 191
3. Providence (Jacksonville) (3A) (24-6) – 181
4. Ponte Vedra (6A) (23-8) – 153
5. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (5A) (22-7) – 150
6. Episcopal (Jacksonville) (3A) (24-5) – 139
7. Raines (Jacksonville) (4A) (21-8) – 129
8. Hilliard (1A) (25-3) – 127
9. The Villages (4A) (20-12) – 125
10. Paxon (Jacksonville) (4A) (21-4) – 116
11. Leesburg (5A) (18-5) – 96
12. Ribault (Jacksonville) (4A) (21-8) – 95
13. Impact Christian Academy (Jacksonville) (2A) (18-11) – 84
14. Eustis (4A) (22-6) – 65
15. University Christian (Jacksonville) (2A) (17-12) – 47
16. Riverside (Jacksonville) (5A) (18-9) – 34
17. Oakleaf (Orange Park) (6A) (19-7) – 31
18T. Fort White (1A) (17-7) – 30
18T. Gainesville (6A) (18-12) – 30
20. Buchholz (Gainesville) (6A) (18-11) – 18
Also receiving votes: Forest (Ocala) (20-8) – 11; Newberry (1A) (15-9) – 11; Mount Dora Christian Academy (2A) (16-13) – 9; Father Lopez (Daytona Beach) (3A) (19-7) – 8; New Smyrna Beach (6A) (19-6) – 7; Hawthorne (1A) (16-5) – 6; Oak Hall (Gainesville) (2A) (17-6) – 4; Union County (Lake Butler) (1A) (13-11) – 3; Creekside (St. Johns) (St. Johns) (7A) (18-10) – 3; Central (Brooksville) (4A) (22-7) – 1; Palatka (4A) (23-5) – 1.

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