Midtown: Sports

Ravenscroft’s Jones commits to Wake Forest

Madison Jones, a key player in Ravenscroft School’s N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association 3A basketball state championship, committed to Wake Forest University over the weekend. He is expected sign with the Deacons on April 20.

Jones scored 22 points in a 64-52 NCISAA championship win over Greensboro Page.

He is ranked eighth on the school’s all-time career scoring list with 1,123 points. The senior also had more than 400 career assists. The 6-foot-1 guard averaged 14.8 points, 4.3 assists and 3.1 steals per game last season.

Ravenscroft coach Kevin Billerman said Jones’ ability to defend was crucial for the Ravens defense against outstanding teams.

“His defense at the point was the difference at times,” Billerman said.

Jones said signing with Wake Forest was a dream come true.

“Wake Forest has outstanding coaches who can help me develop as a player, and Wake Forest offers a great education,” Jones said in a statement. “I’m excited about the future of the program and I really like that Wake Forest reminds me of a bigger version of Ravenscroft. I feel like I’ll fit in perfectly. This has been something I’ve dreamed of and it’s the best possible way to end an incredible senior year.”

Jones helped lead the Ravens to a school record for wins with a 31-4 overall record. Ravenscroft won its second straight Holiday Invitational title in December, its sixth straight TISAC Conference championship and earned a spot in the ESPNHS National High School Invitational last month.

“I am extremely happy for Madison,” Billerman said in a statement. “He had a state championship senior year, which led to advanced recruitment. His leadership at the point guard position has been exemplary and the entire Ravenscroft basketball family wishes him the best of luck at Wake Forest University.”

Cooper credits Marshall: Millbrook wide receiver Corey Cooper said much of the college recruiting attention he received initially came from coaches who were scouting former teammate Keith Marshall, the top-ranked running back prospect in the country during the 2011 season.

“All these coaches were looking at Keith, and some of them saw me,” Cooper said. “It gave me the opportunity to be seen by a lot of coaches. They were looking at Keith and saw me.”

Marshall graduated in December and has enrolled at Georgia. Cooper, a 6-foot, 190-pound junior, has fielded about a dozen scholarship offers. Among his suitors are North Carolina and Wake Forest, the SEC’s Tennessee, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and South Carolina, as well as Illinois, Iowa State, Tulsa and Oklahoma State.

He said he enjoyed his visits to UNC and South Carolina and plans to visit Maryland, Wake Forest and Tennessee this week. He wants to make his college decision before the start of the 2012 season.

Cooper had 24 catches for 280 yards last fall in an offense that relied primarily on Marshall’s rushing.

Top of their games: Ravenscroft’s girls runner Wesley Frazier and Cary Academy’s boys’ runner Thomas Graham may be the two best N.C. high school distance runners to compete in the same meet ever. Both are national leaders on National Scholastic Sports Foundation executive director Jim Spier’s national top-five lists of high school runners.

Frazier is atop the girls’ rankings in the two-mile race with a 10 minutes, 25.84 second. Graham leads in the two mile, with a time of 9:10.2, and in the 5,000 meters with a time of 14:11.66.

The 5,000-meter race is not contested in N.C. Independent School Athletic Association events but is raced on the national level.

Knightdale’s time of 3:15.71 is among the nation’s best in the 4x400 meter relay.

Hinton receives scholarship: Trinity Academy senior Kim Hinton received one of four $1,500 scholarships from the Raleigh Sports Club for the 2012 school year. Hinton was a captain for three years and was a Carolina Christian All-Conference player for the last two seasons.