Nick Stevens

The Cap 8 goes through... Wake Forest?

Posted January 26

Year in and year out, the Cap 8 Conference is one of the strongest leagues in the state for boys basketball.

Just look at the facts over recent seasons. Last year, Millbrook advanced to the fourth round of the playoffs, Leesville Road went to the third round and lost to eventual state runner-up Cary.

Broughton has played for a state championship in 2013. Millbrook played in the state finals in 2011, then lost to New Hanover in the regional championship the next year.

Millbrook, Broughton and Leesville Road have battled it out for the top three spots in the league over the last several seasons. Millbrook has won five straight conference championships, going back to the 2011-2012 season.

But this year, things are different. This year, the conference doesn't go through the Raleigh schools. This year, the Cap 8 appears to go through Wake Forest.

Heritage entered the season No. 1 in area preseason polls. The Huskies are still in that top spot. Heritage is 19-0 overall and 9-0 in conference play. Already, the Huskies have won the John Wall Family Foundation Holiday Invitational, which included wins over Millbrook and Garner.

Heritage has also swept Leesville Road, beaten Millbrook a second time on the road, and defeated Broughton. Three more wins and the Huskies have clinched a share of the Cap 8 title.

This is a new place for Heritage to be. Last year was the best season in school history for the Huskies – they finished 21-8 and 10-4 in the conference, placing third. During the 2014-15 season, Heritage was 15-10 overall, and during the 2013-14 season the Huskies were 16-9.

Wake Forest has a rich history of basketball success, but none of the players around today are old enough to remember it. Head coach Todd Seymour has had to juggle a roster that wasn't complete until they were several weeks into the basketball season because the football team won a state championship. It seems now that the Cougars are clicking.

After an 11-15 campaign last season, Wake Forest now sits at 11-7 overall and 6-2 in the Cap 8 Conference.

Wake Forest swept Millbrook this season, although one game was won by forfeit – Millbrook actually won on the court but reported an ineligible player after the fact. On Tuesday night, the Cougars defeated Millbrook at the buzzer, 62-60.

There's still a long road for Wake Forest if the Cougars are going to maintain their spot in the conference standings though. Wake Forest still has to play Heritage again, and they have two games left with Leesville Road.

What does seem certain is that Heritage is in the driver's seat. They are very close to clinching at least a share of the Cap 8 regular season title. And for that, we can say the Cap 8 does indeed run through Wake Forest this season.

Follow Nick Stevens on Twitter @NickStevensHSOT


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