Garner Cleveland: Sports

Best notes: Clayton High's Hinnant slected as basketball all-star

Vernessa Hinnant
Vernessa Hinnant Miami Dade College Photo

Former Clayton High standout and Selma native Vernessa Hinnant has been selected to play in the National Junior College Athletic Association Women’s Basketball Coaches Association’s All-Star Weekend later this month. Hinnant, a rising sophomore at Miami Dade College, is one of only 40 players nationally from the ranks of Division I, II and III selected for the honor.

Hinnant was named to the all-Southern Conference second team as a freshman and posted a season-high of 36 points during the 2012-13 season.

“It feels great to receive this honor,” Hinnant said in a MDC press release. “This year taught me to play harder, stronger and smarter. I’ve had the opportunity to prepare for this moment all season and I’m very happy to be around the best group of players in the nation.”

The event will be held at Northwest Florida State College in Niceville, Fla. from July 27-28 and features four games among the 40 all-star selections.

Pirates standout set for All-Star games: Recent Corinth Holders High School graduate Melecio Rubio-Villagran is back in the United States after going through a tryout for a professional team in Mexico. Rubio-Villagran did not make the final cut but will be busy this month with soccer all-star games.

He played in the Clash of the Carolinas boys soccer all-star game Saturday in Charleston, S.C. and will play in the N.C. Coaches Association’s East-West All-Star Game on July 23 in Greensboro.

Corinth Holders boys soccer coach and athletic director Brent Walston served as the head coach of the North Carolina boys team during the Clash of the Carolinas.

Respect for the Bulldogs: Princeton’s run to the 1A eastern regional championship game last fall has put the Bulldogs on the map of 1A football heading into this fall. The Bulldogs are ranked in some of the state preseason 1A polls and have several prospects who have attended notable college camps this summer.

Johnny Frasier and Cody Garner attended prospect camps at N.C. State and the University of North Carolina. Frasier also got an invite to the UNC Freak Show camp for elite prospects. Matthew Peedin finished sixth in a NUC top 100 prospect camp locally and went to the regionals in Delaware.

The Bulldogs also sent 25 players to a team camp at East Carolina.

Hudson, Carroll named all-state: Garner junior pitcher Brighton Hudson was named to the all-state 4A baseball team and the N.C. Baseball Coaches Association all-state 4A team. Hudson went 10-0 for the Trojans, helping lead Garner to the fourth round of the 4A playoffs.

West Johnston’s Justin Carroll was a selection for the N.C.B.C.A squad. He was also named the Greater Neuse River 4A Conference player of the year.

Dutch fourth in U.S. Track Championships: Former Clayton standout Johnny Dutch placed fourth in the U.S. Track and Field Outdoor National Championships last monthin Des Moines, Iowa. Dutch ran fourth in 48.21 seconds in the 400-meter hurdles senior division.

Dutch, running professionally for Team Nike, was the fastest in the preliminary heats at 49.46 seconds. Michael Tinsley won the national title in 47.96 seconds.

Half-dozen Pirates play in State Games: Six players from Corinth Holders High School made the Central region team for the State Games of North Carolina boys high school soccer competition which were held last weekend in Charlotte. The Pirates’ contingent included Jamie Schap, Kevin Rosales, Grant Austin, Chason Karst, Aaron Lopez and Dane Martin.

The West squad won the boys gold, while the East won the girls gold. The Central region boys team finished out of the medal rundown.

Son of Clayton alum signs with Campbell: Quinton Ray, a 6-foot-1 basketball guard, signed a scholarship with Campbell University. Ray is the son of former Clayton High School football player and assistant coach Ken “Bear” Ray.

Quinton Ray, a Middle Creek High grad, also played with the Garner Road Bulldogs AAU program. He averaged 12.5 points, six assists and five rebounds a game last season.

Ken Ray is an assistant football coach at Middle Creek and Quinton was also an all-conference receiver for the Mustangs.