One theme that will likely run through these final polls is how I analyze the entire resume, outside of an automatic #1/#2 ranking for the finalists. Quality wins are very important (as measured by relative positioning) and quality losses vs bad losses are also including in my thinking. The higher the ranking, the likely there are quality wins, and you will see that schools that are in the ‘Also Considered’ tend to not have the signature win that gets them ranked.
As usual, there are a lot of A beats B, who then beats C, and when C upsets B it causes deeper analysis. Put on top of that, you have plenty of instances of teams in the Top 15 playing each other three times, due to the method of District ranking and Regional ranking, where a #1/#5 matchup of district rivals happened a few times in the Regional semifinal, as only one #4 seed won a home game in the 1st round.
That also required some more thinking!
And one other key note is that I ONLY looked at Florida teams playing each other, not their out of state games, nor their IMG games. There’s too much variance among out of state schedules (and who those schools will play) to include them in my thinking. This allows more of an apples-to-apples comparison.
So, let’s get the easy part out of the way . . . Bartram Trail #1 and Vero Beach #2
Also, there’s no need to analyze #3 and #4, as I have Steinbrenner at #3 just ahead of #4 St. Thomas Aquinas, as none of the non-Final Four teams came close to displacing them.
Now, let’s look at the other resumes.
Ponte Vedra – wins over Lake Mary, Bishop Moore, Plant and Lake Brantley, losses to Bartram 2x and Steinbrenner
Newsome – wins over Sickles 2x, Plant 2x, Berkeley Prep and Manatee, with losses to Vero, LHP, LHP and Steinbrenner 3x
Hagerty – wins over Vero, Lake Brantley, Bishop Moore and Oviedo, with losses to Episcopal, Bartram, Lake Mary, AH-Delray and Vero
Lake Mary – wins over Lake Bratley 2x, Hagerty and Oviedo, with losses to Lake Brantley, Ponte Vedra, LHP, Bartram and Bishop Moore
Boca Raton – wins over Stoneman 2x and Palm Beach Central, with losses to AH-Delray, St. Thomas and AH-Plantation
Plant – wins over Sickles 2x, Holy Names, Gulf Coast and Berkeley, with losses to Steinbrenner, Bishop Moore, Newsome 2x, Ponte Vedra and Gulf Coast
Manatee – no signature wins, losses to Gulf Coast, St. Stephen’s, ODA, Riverview and Newsome
1) Bartram Trail – lifting the trophy
2) Vero Beach – what a final it was
3) Steinbrenner – anyone who paid attention . . .
4) St. Thomas Aquinas – . . . got to watch the best Final Four in Girls history
5) Newsome – one major impediment in their way
6) Hagerty – regional final was their worst game
7) Ponte Vedra – BT truly . . .
8) Lake Mary – . . . too tough for this region
9t) Plant, Gulf Coast and Boca Raton – very little to distinguish among them