Northeast Florida teams stand in basketball, soccer playoff race

FHSAA rankings: See where Northeast Florida teams stand in basketball, soccer playoff race
Three Gateway Conference champions remained on course as the Florida High School Athletic Association rolled out its latest set of rankings for basketball and soccer Tuesday, four days before the soccer rankings lock in for district tournaments.

Following Saturday’s games, the FHSAA will use the rankings to seed the district tournaments, which begin next Wednesday, Jan. 26. District tournament champions will qualify for the playoffs directly, while the next four highest-ranked teams in each region for each class will advance as at-large selections.

The champion schools at the Duval County public school tournaments solidified their status as playoff near-locks. Boys soccer champion Mandarin stands second in Region 1-7A and eighth in the state overall, Fletcher climbed to third in the Region 1-6A girls soccer standings (behind Ponte Vedra and Fleming Island in an area 1-2-3) and Jackson girls basketball now occupies the fourth slot in Region 1-4A.

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Bartram Trail remained firmly atop the girls soccer rankings both for District 1-7A and across the Sunshine State, but they’re not the only St. Johns County school faring well: Creekside is close behind the Bears in Class 7A, Ponte Vedra ranks first in Class 6A, and newcomer Tocoi Creek has risen to the top in Region 1-4A.

In basketball, Fleming Island remained No. 1 for all Class 6A schools, and Riverside topped the list for Class 5A. Palatka was among the week’s big movers in boys hoops, climbing from ninth to sixth in Region 1-4A, while Bishop Kenny entered the fringe of the playoff chase in the same region, going from No. 17 to No. 13.

On the rise in girls basketball is Oakleaf. The Knights, Class 7A semifinalists last year, struggled in the early going but picked up wins over the weekend against San Jose Prep and Ribault to climb to the seventh spot in Region 1-7A.

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