Top five of regional rankings remain unchanged as Leesburg still unanimous top-ranked team
GAINESVILLE — It’s district tournament time for boys basketball teams in The Prep Zone Power Poll.
But as the regular season wraps up this week, the teams in the top five of the poll just keep on winning.
Remaining #1 again this week in the all-classification rankings is defending 6A state champion Leesburg.
The Yellow Jackets (21-1) rolled through #17 Wildwood on the road, 95-68, on Monday night for their 18th straight win. Leesburg received all six first place votes to once again be the unanimous top team.
Remaining 2nd is Palatka.
The Panthers (23-1) beat #15 Bartram Trail (St. Johns), 55-45, last Saturday to win the St. Johns River Conference Tournament title. Palatka’s only loss this season came to Ponte Vedra.
Providence (Jacksonville) remains 3rd. The Stallions (18-5) defeated Master’s Academy (Oviedo) and then-#17 Andrew Jackson (Jacksonville) to keep the #3 ranking for another week.
Eastside (Gainesville) stays 4th for another week.
The Rams (20-4) had a 3-0 week with wins over Dunnellon, Saint Francis Catholic (Gainesville), and at Buchholz (Gainesville) and have won eight in a row overall.
Eastside puts its winning streak on the line Friday night against #6 Gainesville in the city rivalry game at Santa Fe College in Gainesville. The Rams broke a six-game losing streak to the Hurricanes with a 73-53 romp in the first meeting three weeks ago.
Creekside (St. Johns) also stays put and rounds out the top five. The Knights (20-4) won both their games a week ago, 51-38 at #13 Bolles (Jacksonville), and 50-43 over Oakleaf (Orange Park).
Gainesville (19-5) moves up three spots to lead off the second five. The Hurricanes had wins against Santa Fe (Alachua) and at 8A Buchholz (Gainesville) and have won five in a row since the loss to Eastside.
The Villages (18-6) dropped a spot to 7th after an 86-75 loss at Eustis last week. That win helped move the Panthers (16-6) into the poll for the first time this season at #18.
Nature Coast (Brooksville), Hawthorne, and First Coast (Jacksonville) round out the top 10. The Bucs (17-4) didn’t play last week, but moved up two spots to 10th.
Madison County, which was 10th in last week’s poll, drops four spots to 14th after having an 18-game winning streak come to an end. The Cowboys (20-4) lost back-to-back games to Taylor County (Perry) and at Crossroad Academy (Quincy).
Besides Eustis, #20 DeLand is also new to the poll this week.
Dropping out this week is Andrew Jackson and Bishop Kenny (Jacksonville), which was 20th a week ago.
The Prep Zone Power Poll ranks the top 20 high school football, 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. It is powered by Strive Fitness.
THE PREP ZONE POWER POLL – 2017-18 BOYS BASKETBALL POLL #8
(School, followed by classification, first-place votes, record through 2/6, and total voting points)
1. Leesburg (6A) (6) (21-1) – 120
2. Palatka (6A) (23-1) – 114
3. Providence (Jacksonville) (4A) (18-5) – 108
4. Eastside (Gainesville) (6A) (20-4) – 100
5. Creekside (St. Johns) (8A) (20-4) – 97
6. Gainesville (7A) (19-5) – 88
7. The Villages (5A) (18-6) – 82
8. Nature Coast (Brooksville) (6A) (22-2) – 70
9. Hawthorne (1A) (20-5) – 67
10. First Coast (Jacksonville) (8A) (17-4) – 56
11. Mainland (Daytona Beach) (7A) (16-6) – 54
12. Englewood (Jacksonville) (7A) (20-4) – 53
13. Bolles (Jacksonville) (5A) (19-5) – 44
14. Madison County (1A) (20-4) – 41
15. Bartram Trail (St. Johns) (8A) (17-6) – 35
16. Raines (Jacksonville) (5A) (17-7) – 26
17. Wildwood (1A) (16-6) – 25
18. Eustis (6A) (15-6) – 20
19. Atlantic (Port Orange) (7A) (17-7) – 14
20. DeLand (9A) (18-6) – 13
Also receiving votes: Columbia (Lake City) (7A) (16-7) – 9; Bradford (Starke) (5A) (16-8) – 7; Trinity Catholic (Ocala) (5A) (16-7) – 5; Bishop Snyder (Jacksonville) (4A) (14-8) – 4; Orange Park (6A) (15-8) – 3; East Ridge (Clermont) (8A) (16-6); University Christian (Jacksonville) (4A) (15-7) -2; Deltona (7A) (14-7) – 1.