Find My Team >>

Log in to High School OT with one click using your favorite social network:
OR
Log in using your High School OT account:



Wrong email/password combination.

Forgot password?

Register with High School OT using your favorite social network:
OR
Register for a High School OT account using our web form.
Log In
Register

Nick Stevens

Apex had been there before

Published: 2014-01-19 13:10:00
Updated: 2014-01-19 13:11:48


Jan 19, 2014

Apex-Wheeler

Ian Boyd (23) dunks for Apex. HighSchoolOT Holiday Invitational at Broughton High School, Raleigh N.C. held on December 28, 2013. The evening games included Apex against Wheeler High School. Wheeler wins by 30 with a final score of 75 – 45. (Chris Baird/ WRAL Contributor)

Most people who follow high school basketball in the Triangle would not have predicted a 2-4 start for Apex this season. In fact, the Apex players and coaches are quick to point out they didn't expect it.

Nevertheless, that was the start Apex faced in December.

It's easy for coaches and especially players to panic in such a situation, especially when the expectations were high coming into the season. That didn't happen at Apex though, and it's probably because they had been in that situation before.

"I told (the players), 'We've been right here with you guys,'" said Apex basketball coach David Neal.

He wasn't lying.

Last season, Apex started the season 0-2. The Cougars opened the season with a 71-45 loss to Leesville Road, then fell 51-47 at Sanderson in their second game.

This year the Cougars opened the season with another home loss to Leesville Road, but managed to get a 59-50 win over Jordan in the second game of the season.

Apex didn't panic last season, and they didn't panic this season. For Neal, it was a matter of putting it in perspective.

"We've always really emphasized our conference games being more important than our non-conference, not that we don't want to win our non-conference games," said Neal. "I just kept trying to repeat that these aren't the ones that matter, we want to win them, but I'd rather lose here in November or December than in a conference game in January or February."

That has worked pretty well for Apex in the past. Last year the Cougars went on to win 20-games and made a run to the third round of the state playoffs.

"This is the same group as last year, and last year we were in the third round after a pretty miraculous win over Millbrook in the second round," Neal said.

Apex was on the verge of beating Broughton, the eventual state runner-up, too.

"We were up seven at the end of three quarters against Broughton and just had a really bad third quarter," Neal said. "Broughton went on to win the east and I thought we were just as good as any of those teams, but we didn't get it done."

It was the second year in a row Apex lost in the third round, and Neal hopes that is motivation for the talented group of seniors who are playing high school basketball for the last time.

"Hopefully that's in the back of our seniors' minds and they're using that for motivation, I know I am," he said.

Neal has the advantage of seeing what a turnaround can look like too.

In 2007, Apex started the season with a 4-9 record. Wins over Green Hope and Panther Creek helped spark a run that ended with the Cougars losing in the 4-A state championship game to East Mecklenburg.

That isn't a story Neal has pulled out for this team though.

"I haven't mentioned that comparison to them at all. I hadn't even thought about that until you asked the question," he said.

Apex has one game left in the first round of conference play – a home game on Wednesday against Apex. A win means the Cougars enter the last half of the conference season with a perfect league record and at least a one game lead over everyone else.

Follow Nick Stevens on Twitter @NickStevensHSOT

Back to Nick Stevens
COMMENTS

0 Comments



This blog post is closed for comments.

Blogs
*
More HSOT Today
*
More On The Trail
HighSchoolOT Forums
More HighSchoolOT Forums
  1. Chris__Edwards: Got a good men's soccer clash tonight on ESPN3 as Duke hosts top-ranked North Carolina. Solid offense vs. solid defense. See you at 7.
      — Friday, September 19, 2014 12:59 PM
  2. ZachMayoHSOT: For players on bye weeks this week (almost all of Wake County), which games are you going to see tonight?
      — Friday, September 19, 2014 11:49 AM
  3. Chris__Edwards: RT @Duke_BASE: Fall @Duke_BASE is officially here! The #BlueDevils hit the field this afternoon for first practice of the year.
      — Friday, September 19, 2014 9:17 AM
  4. Chris__Edwards: RT @chadlampman: Big weekend! Rivalry gm vs Tarheels tonite on @espn3 for @duke_msoc and throwback day vs Tulane for @Duke_FB
      — Friday, September 19, 2014 9:15 AM
  5. Chris__Edwards: RT @Duke_MSOC: RISE AND SHINE!! Gameday of #RIVALRYWEEK! @BlueDevil_NTWRK hype video will get you off on the right foot. Watch here:
      — Friday, September 19, 2014 9:14 AM
  6. HSOTSWAC: MIDDLE CREEK: Highlights: Pinecrest vs. Middle Creek (Sept. 18, 2014) http://t.co/u06Sn64387
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 11:49 PM
  7. HSOTSWAC: MIDDLE CREEK: Pinecrest soccer overcomes late Middle Creek surge http://t.co/JOUBBnnuTd
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 11:49 PM
  8. HighSchoolOT: Pinecrest soccer overcomes late Middle Creek surge http://t.co/fXNs2oP5JR
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 11:31 PM
  9. JamesAlverson: RT @edsbs: https://t.co/RPx8UpDOec
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 11:26 PM
  10. JamesAlverson: Alright Bucs, wear Arena Football unis in the NFL and play like an arena team in NFL, I got it. Dress for the job you want, right?
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 11:10 PM
  11. JamesAlverson: K State was solid, well coached, stuck to defensive game plan. Auburn had better athletes. Too many mistakes by Tigers tonight. But good win
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:56 PM
  12. JamesAlverson: RT @WFLAJason: TJ Yates into the game for Falcons. Yep, Glennon vs Yates. Only fans in the 919 area code will tune in now.
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:55 PM
  13. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: HIGHLIGHTS: Pinecrest soccer defeats Middle Creek, 7-6. Lots of goals to be seen here. #HSOT http://t.co/QiKM5u8x0L
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:42 PM
  14. ZachMayoHSOT: HIGHLIGHTS: Pinecrest soccer defeats Middle Creek, 7-6. Lots of goals to be seen here. #HSOT http://t.co/QiKM5u8x0L
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:42 PM
  15. JamesAlverson: RT @kennybeckWXII: If Falcons/Bucs was a high school football game in North Carolina, we would now be on a running clock under @NCHSAA rule…
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:42 PM
  16. JamesAlverson: “@UMwolfpack87: K State is going to make this happen. I think.” #unfollowed what you got against Auburn, man?
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:41 PM
  17. HighSchoolOT: STORY: Pinecrest soccer survived a late Middle Creek run in a high-scoring affair Thursday night, winning 7-6. #HSOT http://t.co/aFCV1dsBrz
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:40 PM
  18. JamesAlverson: “@SDS: Kansas State gets it in the end zone, but can they make the extra point?” New kicker, why not
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:39 PM
  19. JamesAlverson: K State has played great gap assignment football tonight in running game but Auburn has dropped too many balls. Passing has to be crisper
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:26 PM
  20. JamesAlverson: RT @JayGTate: That’s a 15-play, 80-yard drive that consumed 5:34. Not typical in its construction, but critical nonetheless.
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 10:02 PM
  21. JamesAlverson: RT @jppalmCBS: put it on the goal line RT @MattTwombly1: I think ESPN can remove the green "field goal range" marker on all remaining KSU p…
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 9:56 PM
  22. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: LOTS of scoring tonight in Pinecrest-Middle Creek soccer. Video and story will be on @HighSchoolOT shortly.
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 9:48 PM
  23. ZachMayoHSOT: LOTS of scoring tonight in Pinecrest-Middle Creek soccer. Video and story will be on @HighSchoolOT shortly.
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 9:48 PM
  24. JamesAlverson: RT @jjones9: Devin Hester got called for taunting on his way to setting an NFL all-time record. Don't care. Good job Devin. Celebrate all y…
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 9:33 PM
  25. HighSchoolOT: Extra Effort: Alex Dolwick, Grace Christian (Sept. 18, 2014) http://t.co/S5MQCHqFIl
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 6:55 PM
  26. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: We have a #HSOTInvite meeting today. Hope to have a bracket release date for you when it's over. #HSOT #WRAL
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 12:59 PM
  27. HighSchoolOT: STAND UP! You don't have to suffer in silence. The domestic violence phone bank is 4-7:30p today. #eNOughNC #wral http://t.co/T2t8vWudec
      — Thursday, September 18, 2014 8:35 AM
  28. HighSchoolOT: RT @jmgl: Always plotting better UI @highschoolot #wral http://t.co/HzgMBrJ1s5
      — Wednesday, September 17, 2014 3:36 PM
  29. HighSchoolOT: Round Table: Statement wins, Big Eight, light week ahead http://t.co/3Ea7plWJOU
      — Wednesday, September 17, 2014 2:51 PM
  30. HighSchoolOT: WATCH: #HSOTRoundTable about statement wins for @warriorpride1 @SDurhamFootball, @HSOTBig8, & a light week 5: http://t.co/il6GS9XEb2 #HSOT
      — Wednesday, September 17, 2014 2:11 PM
  31. HighSchoolOT: Green Hope volleyball beats Apex, grows SWAC lead http://t.co/DNtKr7a7Jm
      — Wednesday, September 17, 2014 12:57 AM
  32. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: STORY: Green Hope volleyball grows its lead in the SWAC with a 3-0 win over Apex. #HSOT http://t.co/VSSCH7nAHY
      — Tuesday, September 16, 2014 10:51 PM
  33. HighSchoolOT: Southern Durham ranked No. 1 in statewide AP Poll http://t.co/MTvEyhVFbW
      — Tuesday, September 16, 2014 6:07 PM
  34. HighSchoolOT: RT @ZachMayoHSOT: I'm covering volleyball at Green Hope tonight. @GHFALCONS hosting @apexvball8. Story tonight on #HSOT
      — Tuesday, September 16, 2014 5:44 PM
  35. HighSchoolOT: ALERT: Southern Durham ranked No. 1 in new AP Poll http://t.co/WpmVM6hIdZ
      — Tuesday, September 16, 2014 5:09 PM
  36. HighSchoolOT: ICYMI: Tom Suiter's Fabulous 15 Poll came out today. Southern moves to 2nd behind Wake Forest: http://t.co/RNSu0Z6IUp #HSOT
      — Tuesday, September 16, 2014 1:16 PM
  37. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: Also... We should get our hands on the #HSOTInvite brackets today. You'll see them pretty soon on @HighSchoolOT.
      — Tuesday, September 16, 2014 1:11 PM
  38. HighSchoolOT: Southern Durham moves into second place in Fabulous 15 http://t.co/k4wfXP1O8v
      — Tuesday, September 16, 2014 12:24 PM
  39. HighSchoolOT: ALERT: Southern Durham moves to second place in Tom Suiter's Fabulous 15 Poll http://t.co/fYW1yI88TZ
      — Tuesday, September 16, 2014 12:01 PM
  40. HighSchoolOT: RT @NickStevensHSOT: The field for the #HSOTInvite this year won't disappoint. A lot of great talent. Dec. 26, 27, 29, 30 at Broughton HS! …
      — Monday, September 15, 2014 7:55 PM