Boys high school basketball playoffs ‘23: NFEI, PV, Providence, Ribault reach final four

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Lakeland and the final four is the next destination for the NFEI, Ponte Vedra, Providence and Ribault boys basketball teams.

Host Ribault won its final game in the Austin-Wilkes Gymnasium, routing Bishop Kenny 91-59 to win the Region 1-4A title and coast into next week’s state semifinals. The Trojans got 16 points from George Woods to improve to 25-4. The historic gym is being upgraded so Friday’s game was the final in the historic venue. The Ribault boys have won four state championships, all of them under the iconic Bernard Wilkes. This year’s final four trip is the first for head coach Charles Showers.

Ribault’s state semifinal berth is its first since 2017. The Trojans will face Villages Charter at noon on Thursday.

Ponte Vedra is returning to Lakeland after a 72-61 win over visiting Gainesville. The Sharks (22-6) were state runners-up last year. Ponte Vedra will face Wekiva on Thursday at 8 p.m.

Providence outlasted visiting Florida High 58-55 in overtime in Region 1-3A. The Stallions (28-2) have three state championships under coach Jim Martin. Providence last played for a title in 2017, a 14-point loss to Westminster Academy. The Stallions will face Windermere Prep in the final four on Wednesday at 10 a.m.

It’s a matchup between former Providence assistant coach Brian Hoff and his mentor, Martin. Hoff spent six seasons at Providence and also coached alongside Martin in the 2017 McDonald’s All-American Game.

NFEI is also headed back to the state semifinals after beating Impact Christian 55-46 in Region 1-2A. The Eagles (22-8) will face Sagemont on Wednesday at 4 p.m. Sagemont edged NFEI 76-72 in overtime in the final four last year.

In Region 1-5A, Columbia saw its season end with a 35-34 loss at Daytona Beach Mainland. The Tigers finished 20-10.

Regional finals

Friday’s results

Region 1-6A

(1) Ponte Vedra 72, (2) Gainesville 61

Region 1-5A

(1) Mainland 35, (3) Columbia 34

Region 1-4A

(1) Ribault 91, (3) Bishop Kenny 59

Region 1-3A

(1) Providence 58, (2) Florida High 55, OT

Region 1-2A

(1) NFEI 55, (2) Impact Christian 46

State semifinals

At RP Funding Center, Lakeland

Class 6A, Thursday

Wekiva (26-4) vs. Ponte Vedra (22-6), 8 p.m.

Class 4A, Thursday

Ribault (25-4) vs. Villages Charter (22-8), noon

Class 3A, Wednesday

Windermere Prep (23-7) vs. Providence (28-2), 10 a.m.

Class 2A, Wednesday

NFEI (22-8) vs. Sagemont (27-4), 4 p.m.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.