The FHSAA released its first rankings for boys’ basketball on January 4th. While the rankings will no doubt change as the season progresses, it is interesting to take an initial look at how the state playoffs might shake out based on “the numbers”. We’ll assume for now that the top ranked team in each district will be the district winner and that non-district winners with the highest ranking will fill in the remaining playoff spots in each region.
This is the only classification that clings to the tradition of district winner and district runner-up making the playoffs. Based on our assumptions, this is how the playoffs would look:
Region 1 – District 1: Paxton (W); Jay (R)
No surprises here.
Region 1 – District 2: Freeport (W); Poplar Springs (R)
Somehow, Poplar Springs is a close second but has the weakest Strength of Schedule (SOS) in the district.
Region 2 – District 3: Malone (W); Panama City Bozeman or Altha (R)
This is clearly the toughest district in the classification with five of the highest ranked eighteen teams in the district.
Region 2 – District 4: Blountstown (W); Franklin County (R)
No surprises here.
Region 3 – District 5: Madison County (W); Lafayette (R)
Somehow Taylor County is the fourth of six teams but has the highest SOS.
Region 3 – District 6: Bradford (W); Branford (R)
If this holds, expect a lot of confusion between which is BraDford and which is BraNford.
Region 4 – District 7: Newberry (W); Trenton (R)
This is another tough district with four of the top twenty teams. Newberry is on top but their SOS is only fourth out of six.
Region 4 – District 8: Hawthorne (W); Wildwood (R)
No surprise at the top two teams. Wildwood has the best SOS in the class, mainly because it doesn’t play any Class 1A teams until the playoffs.
Region 1: Quincy Crossroad Academy (D1 winner); Tallahassee NFL Christian (D2 winner); Jacksonville North Florida Education Institute (D3 winner); St. Augustine St. Joseph Academy (D4 winner); Quincy Munroe (At-Large #1); Jacksonville Impact Christian Academy (At-Large #2); Jacksonville Parsons Christian Academy (At-Large #3); Jacksonville University Christian (At-Large #4)
Parsons and St. Joseph are newcomers to the playoff scene. District 3 has three teams in NFEI, Impact Christian, and Parsons Christian.
Region 2: Mount Dora Christian (D5 winner); Winter Park International Community (D6 winner); Ocoee Central Florida Christian Academy (D7 winner); Orlando Christian Prep (D8 winner); Lakeland Victory Christian (At-Large #1); Orlando Faith Christian (At-Large #2); Kissimmee City of Life Christian (At-Large #3); Ocala Redeemer Christian (At-Large #4)
As expected, Orlando Christian Prep and Central Florida Christian Academy are at the top. District 8, with OCP, Faith Christian, and City of Life projects as the strongest district.
Region 3: Zephyrhills Christian (D9 winner); Tampa Cambridge Christian (D10 winner); Bradenton Christian (D11 winner); Fort Myers Southwest Florida Christian (D12 winner); Naples First Baptist Academy (At-Large #1); St. Petersburg Canterbury (At-Large #2); Naples Seacrest Country Day (At-Large #3); Clearwater Lakeside Christian (At-Large #4)
Zephyrhills Christian is somewhat of an outlier, as they have the #16 ranking in the region but are at the top of their district. District 12 brings SWFL Christian, First Baptist Academy and Seacrest Country Day to the playoff party.
Region 4: Port St. Lucie Morningside Academy (D13 winner); Boca Raton Grandview Prep (D14 winner); Weston Sagemont (D15 winner); Miami Dade Christian (D16 winner); Pompano Beach Highlands Christian (At-Large #1); Hialeah Champagnat (At-Large #2); West Palm Beach Atlantic Christian (At-Large #3); Hollywood Sheridan Hills Christian (At-Large #4)
Sagemont appears to be head and shoulders above its regional brethren.
Region 1: Tallahassee Florida State University HS (D1 winner); Jacksonville Providence (D2 winner); Ocala Trinity Catholic (D3 winner); Windermere Prep (D4 winner); Winter Park Trinity Prep (At-Large #1); Jacksonville Bishop Snyder (At-Large #2); Tallahassee Maclay (At-Large #3); Winter Garden Foundation Academy (At-Large #4)
Four of the top seven teams in the classification are in this region. It is a bit surprising to see a very young Providence team at the top and ranked #2 overall in the class. Episcopal of Jacksonville has the second highest SOS but is on the outside looking in right now. It won’t surprise if they and/or Oviedo Master’s Academy move into the playoff picture.
Region 2: Tampa Catholic (D5 winner); Clearwater Calvary Christian (D6 winner); Sarasota Cardinal Mooney (D7 winner); Fort Myers Canterbury (D8 winner); Tampa Berkeley Prep (At-Large #1); Tampa Brooks DeBartolo (At-Large #2); St. Petersburg Northside Christian (At-Large #3); Riverview Bell Creek Academy (At-Large #4)
Calvary Christian has been a pleasant surprise this season. Tampa Catholic’s high SOS will help them down the road. Districts Five and Six each have three teams in the playoff picture.
Region 3: Melbourne Holy Trinity Episcopal (D9 winner); Lakeland Santa Fe Catholic (D10 winner); Fort Pierce John Carroll (D11 winner); Boca Raton St. Andrew’s (D12 winner); Jupiter Christian (At-Large #1); Palm Beach Gardens Benjamin (At-Large #2); Boca Raton St. John Paul II (At-Large #3); Wet Palm Beach Cardinal Newman (At-Large #4)
John Carroll at the top of the region rankings is a bit of a surprise. Kudos to St. Andrew’s on their quick re-build after losing a lot of quality seniors from last year’s team. Our hunch is that West Palm Beach King’s Academy will find a way to get into the playoffs. Districts 11 & 12 dominate the playoff picture, providing six of the eight teams.
Region 4: North Lauderdale Somerset Prep (D13 winner); Doral Divine Savior Academy (D14 winner); Miami Riviera Prep (D15 winner); Somerset Academy South Homestead (D16 winner); Miam Florida Christian (At-Large #1); Fort Lauderdale Westminster Academy (At-Large #2); Miami Ransom Everglades (At-Large #3); Hollywood Avant Garde Academy (At-Large #4)
The biggest surprise is that North Lauderdale Somerset Prep is rated one spot higher than Westminster Academy for now. WA’s strength of schedule will come into play and most likely move them up. Miami Country Day, a final four participant last season is one spot out of an At-Large berth. One would think with all their talent they will find a way to get in. Districts 13 and 15 put three teams each into the playoff picture.