High School Sports

The Swish: Apex player comes up $500 richer after game

Apex's Eric Fox shoots over the Cary defense during the boys basketball game, which was played in Apex on Friday, January 13, 2017. Apex won 77-62.
Apex's Eric Fox shoots over the Cary defense during the boys basketball game, which was played in Apex on Friday, January 13, 2017. Apex won 77-62. newsobserver.com

Apex’s Alec Donahue didn’t play a minute in Friday’s 77-62 boys basketball win over Cary, but it’s hard to imagine anyone came away with a better game.

As part of the booster club’s Cougar Car Raffle, Apex athletes were encouraged to sell tickets for the raffling of a Jeep Wrangler. The tickets had the winning person’s name on it, as well as who sold that person the ticket. The winner was going to get a Jeep, an athlete was going to get $500 and whatever team that athlete was representing was going to get $1,000.

Donahue was in the locker room when his name was drawn. He posed with the $500 check after the game. Who needs points or rebounds with a stat line like that?

They said it

“The third quarter has been tough on us the last few weeks. I told the team I want to eliminate halftime because we always struggle after the break.” – Chapel Hill boys coach Rodney Carter.

“Everybody is about the same height on our team, but that makes us interchangeable. We have to play that way (pressing) to win. We have to beat teams to the spot. If we play passively, teams will kill us inside.” – Raleigh Christian boys coach Stephen Hayes.

“It’s hard (after a layoff), if they’re anything like me. I was on the couch. They said they got out and shot a little bit, but it’s difficult to have this much time off and then come back against a good coach and a good team like Clayton.” – Southeast Raleigh coach James Williams after Thursday’s win.

“I think we just got tired of losing to East. We wanted to come out with a bang and show them what we had. Our team has really good chemistry and a competitive mindset right now.” – Knightdale junior Rikkai Ferguson after beating East Wake for the third time in the last 21 meetings.

“We knew it was coming. I was hoping it would’ve come last year, but this year they’ve just exceeded my expectation.” – Orange girls coach B.J. Condron on his team’s undefeated start.

“When (Riley Adams) is in transition, and he gets to that foul line and makes good decisions, we’re as good as anyone around.” – Panther Creek boys coach Shawan Robinson.

“We shot 72 percent as a team, and missed 12 free throws,” Cardinal Gibbons coach Jim Ryan said. “You can’t win games with those numbers. I thought that was the major turning point of the game.”

“I told them we were gonna set the school’s record for turnovers, and no one would ever break it.” – Chapel Hill girls coach Sherry Norris after 42 turnovers in a 51-34 loss to Southern Durham.

“We were forcing turnovers, but not scoring. And we weren’t making free throws. ... I told them we can’t play any worse than we just played. Keep doing what we’re doing and it will come.” – Southern Durham girls coach Teddy McKoy after his team went 2-for-16 from the free-throw line in the first half of a win at Chapel Hill.

The Starting 5

Five standouts from the past week.


Nyjanique Langley, North Pitt: Had 29 points in a 47-46 loss to North Johnston on Friday.

Lucy Leen, Leesville Road: Hit the game-winner as time expired to defeat Wakefield 47-45.

Izabella Nicolletti, Neuse Christian: The area’s leading scorer had 21 points in a 75-13 win over Lee Christian on Friday and 23 in Thursday’s 74-47 win over Trinity Christian.

Izzy Strigel, Durham Academy: Had 31 points in Wednesday’s 62-57 win over Ravenscroft.

Grace Smith, Cary Christian: Belmont recruit had 25 points in a 53-35 win over Forsyth Country Day and a stat line of 16 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals in a 65-16 win over Carolina Friends.


Jalen Benjamin, Leesville Road: Had 21 points in an 85-68 win over Wakefield on Friday.

Jaryan Hargis, Goldsboro: Scored 26 points in an 88-80 double-overtime loss to Kinston.

Eric Fox, Apex: Scored 32 points on 6-of-9 shooting from 3 in a 77-62 win over Cary on Friday.

Kris Monroe, St. David’s: Scored 29 points in a 77-71 loss to Millbrook on Saturday.

Shayne Saigo, Knightdale: Scored 26 points in a 63-52 win over East Wake on Thursday.

Stretch 4

Conference race analysis.

Eastern Carolina 4A/3A boys: Midway through the league slate, South Central (13-1, 6-0) is on top after fending off D.H. Conley (11-4, 5-1), 46-36 on Friday. J.H. Rose (10-5, 3-2) is still in the mix, while Eastern Wayne (6-10, 2-3) sits fourth while leading the league’s three 3A teams.

Eastern Carolina 4A/3A girls: South Central (7-6, 6-0) leads here too after a 1-6 record in nonconference play. Rose (5-10, 4-1) is second followed by Conley (9-8, 4-2). Southern Wayne (7-10, 1-4), C.B. Aycock (8-6, 1-4) and Eastern Wayne (11-5, 1-4) are tied for the top 3A spot.

Big 8 boys: Orange (12-4, 5-0) has won seven in a row to lead the way, followed by Chapel Hill (8-7, 4-1) and Southern Durham (7-6, 2-1). Northern Vance (9-7, 2-2) is still in the mix as well.

Big 8 girls: We’re heading for a Saturday showdown when Orange (15-0, 5-0) visits Northwood (12-3, 4-0). J.F. Webb (7-6, 3-2) is third with Cedar Ridge (8-6, 2-3) is fourth.

Top games

Game times vary, usually 5:30 and 7 p.m. for varsity doubleheaders or 6 and 8 p.m. for JV/varsity quads. When the boys and girls play at separate sites, the varsity game times are either 6:30 or 7 p.m.

Tuesday: Knightdale at Garner; Harnett Central at Rolesville; North Johnston at SouthWest Edgecombe; Ravenscroft at North Raleigh Christian; Wake Christian at Cary Academy; North Moore at Chatham Central; N.C. School of Science and Math at Durham School of the Arts; Raleigh Charter at East Wake Academy; Roxboro Community at Kestrel Heights; Grace Christian Raleigh at Trinity Academy Raleigh; Wayne Country Day at John Paul II; West Johnston at Clayton.

Wednesday: Durham Academy at Greensboro Day; Broughton at Enloe; Voyager Academy at Cardinal Gibbons; Chatham Central at Chatham Charter; Roxboro Community at Raleigh Charter.

Thursday: Southeast Raleigh at Garner; Harnett Central at Knightdale.

Friday/Saturday: See Friday’s paper.

Jeremy Lambert, Logan Ulrich, Max Cahn, Randy Capps, Tom Shanahan, Mike Potter, Ian Pierno and Brennan Doherty contributed.