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Nick Stevens

Nick Stevens

Nick Stevens, a Raleigh native, is the senior editor of HighSchoolOT.com. Nick has covered high school sports for WRAL since 2006, and helped create what is now HighSchoolOT.com. In his blog, Nick provides insight and analysis on area high school sports teams, players and topics. He also provides his opinion on numerous issues surrounding high school sports. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickStevensHSOT. You can contact Nick by clicking here or by sending an e-mail to nstevens@wral.com.

Locals advance to second round of wrestling tournament


Feb 21, 2014

41st Annual WRAL Invitational Wrestling Tournament 12.22.12 Athens Drive High School, Raleigh NC. Photo by CHRIS BAIRD

41st Annual WRAL Invitational Wrestling Tournament 12.22.12 Athens Drive High School, Raleigh NC. Photo by CHRIS BAIRD

The opening day of the N.C. High School Athletic Association individual wrestling state tournament has completed in Greensboro, and a number of local wrestlers have advanced in the winners bracket.

Here's a look at local wrestlers who have advanced to the second round:

4A Wrestling

106: Bradley Wanovich (Jack Britt) defeated Jeremy Gonzalez (Glenn) in an 11-1 major decision on Thursday. Wanovich will face Ryan Keefe (Providence) on Friday in the second round.

106: Tony Jimenez (West Johnston) advanced to the second round on Thursday where he will meet Josh Hedrick (Northwest Guilford). Jimenez pinned Isaiah Hendricks (Jay M. Robinson) at the 3:40 mark of the first round.

113: Nick Tarvin (Cary) posted a 7-2 decision over Caison Scott (Southern Alamance) on Thursday to advance to the second round. Tarvin will meet up with Austin Powell (Hough) on Friday.

113: Gary Sly (D.H. Conley) defeated Ben Long (Alexander Central) in an

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Local wrestlers prepare for state championships


Feb 20, 2014

41st Annual WRAL Invitational Wrestling Tournament 12.22.12 Athens Drive High School, Raleigh NC. Photo by CHRIS BAIRD

41st Annual WRAL Invitational Wrestling Tournament 12.22.12 Athens Drive High School, Raleigh NC. Photo by CHRIS BAIRD

The N.C. High School Athletic Association will host over 1,400 wrestling matches Thursday, Friday and Saturday in Greensboro as the individual wrestling state championships get underway.

Last week a number of local wrestlers won wrestling regional championships. In the regional tournaments, each of the top four wrestlers made it to states. Here's a look at area state tournament qualifiers:

106 Weight Class

4A: Ian Anderson (Cary), Michael Eastwood (Green Hope), Jason Henry (Pine Forest), Tony Jimenez (West Johnston), Crayton Saby (Millbrook), DeAndre Swinson (South View), Bradley Wanovich (Jack Britt)

3A: Zachary Allen (Chapel Hill), Daniel Hull (Union Pines), Dakota Medina (Southern Nash)

2A: Aaron Anderson (Farmville Central), Darius Scott (Franklinton), Otto Wolin (Carrboro)

1A: Nick Daggett (Chatham Central), Ronald Whitt (Voyager Academy)

113 Weight Class

4A: Daniel Cockerill (Fuquay-Varina),

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3 things to watch on Friday night


Jan 23, 2014

Heritage defeats Broughton 57 to 45 Friday night January 17, 2014 at Heritage Hight School. (Photo By: Beth Jewell)

Heritage defeats Broughton 57 to 45 Friday night January 17, 2014 at Heritage Hight School. (Photo By: Beth Jewell)

The regular season of high school basketball is about to reach a climax.

As we turn the corner into the second half of conference play for most teams, games become more important. With a new playoff system, the overall record matters just as much (maybe more) than your conference standings.

Friday night we have a number of things to watch for. Here's a few of them.

Third place in the Cap 8 is up for grabs

We had an imperfect snowstorm in Wake County this week, but there was a perfect storm in the Cap 8 on Wednesday night.

Sanderson beat Wake Forest, Millbrook beat Leesville Road, and Wakefield beat Heritage. Why is that a big deal? It forces a four-way tie for third place in the Cap 8.

With only half the conference season left, Heritage, Leesville Road, Sanderson and Wake Forest all have 3-4 conference records. They're also all tied for third place. So who do they play on Friday night?

Perhaps the most important game involving

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Apex had been there before


Jan 19, 2014

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)

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

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10 basketball games to watch to close exam week


Jan 17, 2014

Gary Clark (11) moves around a Broughton defender. HighSchoolOT Holiday Invitational at Broughton High School, Raleigh N.C. held on December 28, 2013. The afternoon games included Broughton and Clayton High School. After a close game between the home team and Clayton, Broughton wins with a final score of 67 – 61. (Lexi Baird/ WRAL Contributor)

Gary Clark (11) moves around a Broughton defender. HighSchoolOT Holiday Invitational at Broughton High School, Raleigh N.C. held on December 28, 2013. The afternoon games included Broughton and Clayton High School. After a close game between the home team and Clayton, Broughton wins with a final score of 67 – 61. (Lexi Baird/ WRAL Contributor)

It has been a light week in the world of high school sports thanks to final exams for fall semester classes. The slow week will ramp up tonight though with a number of big high school basketball games in the Triangle.

Here are ten games to watch tonight as the exam break comes to a close.

Broughton @ Heritage (Boys)

Both of these teams are ranked in our Triangle Top 12 Poll this week. Broughton is ranked No. 7 while Heritage is ranked No. 10. If these two teams are going to keep pace with the Cap 8 leader Millbrook, winning this game is key. The Wildcats have beaten both Broughton and Heritage already this season. 

East Wake @ Knightdale (Girls)

This girls game is a match-up between two teams ranked in our Triangle Top 12 Poll. Knightdale comes in at No. 6 while East Wake is No. 7, and needless to say, this game has huge implications in the Greater Neuse River Conference standings where everyone is currently

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