Shining at the Next Level: December 30, 2019-January 12, 2020

New Hanover, Brunswick and Pender counties produce a large number of athletes that continue their careers at the next level.  Each week, this list will feature a number of area athletes who are finding success in the college ranks.

Check back for weekly updates on the second and fourth Monday of each month.


***Full list of area men’s basketball players in college***

Sr. G Trae Bryant, Oklahoma City (2015 Hoggard grad): In his first four games of the season, Bryant averaged 14.3 points, 4 rebounds and 3.8 assists. He shot 47 percent (21 of 45) from the field and 45 percent (13 of 29) from 3-point range.

Sr. C AJ Frye, N.C. Wesleyan (2016 Hoggard grad): In four contests, Frye averaged 13.3 points and 7.7 rebounds. He finished with 19 points and five rebounds in an 83-79 loss to Brevard on Jan. 5.

Fr. G Matt Kiatipis, Simon Fraser (2019 Cape Fear Academy grad): In only five minutes of action, Kiatipis scored 11 points by going 5 of 6 from the field (1 of 1 from 3) in an 80-74 loss at Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday.

Sr. F/C Mitch Layton, N.C. Wesleyan (2016 North Brunswick grad): Went 7 of 9 from the field for 16 points and also grabbed six rebounds on Jan. 5 in a road loss against Brevard on Jan. 5. In four games, Layton averaged 9 points and 6.3 rebounds.

North Brunswick graduate Mitch Layton now plays basketball at N.C. Wesleyan. [N.C. Wesleyan Athletics]

Jr. G Blake Smith, New England (2017 New Hanover grad): Scored a season-high 12 points in six minutes of action by going 4 of 6 from the field (3 of 5 from 3) in a 98-60 loss at Bates on Jan. 2.


***Full list of area swimmers in college***

Jr. Tyler Bowersox, Queens (2017 South Brunswick grad): Was a member of the 200 medley relay that finished second with a time of 1:36.11 in Friday’s victory over Catawba.

Fr. Finn Howard, Queens (2019 Hoggard grad): Finished second in the 200 IM (1:59.23), 200 freestyle relay (1:26.67) and 200 medley relay (1:36.11) in Friday’s dominant win over Catawba. Howard was second in the 200 medley relay (1:31.40) and third in the 100 backstroke (49.96) against Duke on Saturday.

Hoggard graduate Finn Howard now swims at Queens. [Tim Hower/Coastal Preps]


***Full list of area women’s basketball players in college***

R-Sr. G Jada Bacchus, Mount Olive (2015 Ashley grad): Helped the Trojans go 3-1 by averaging 18.5 points, 10.5 rebounds and 2.8 assists. She had double-doubles of  15 points and 16 rebounds against King (62-56 win on Jan. 4) and 20 points and 12 rebounds against Lees-McRae (70-53 win on Saturday).

Fr. G Blair Barefoot, Lenoir-Rhyne (2019 Hoggard grad): Finished with 15 total points in games against Coker, Carson-Newman and Newberry.

Jr. G Ayonna Cotten, Mississippi Valley St. (2017 New Hanover grad): In losses to Arkansas Pine-Bluff and Alabama State, Cotten averaged 11 points. 

R-Fr. G Jenson Edwards 2018, High Point (Laney grad): Scored a career-high 14 points to go along with three rebounds and three assists in a career-high 37 minutes to help the Panthers earn a 68-58 win over Radford on Jan. 6. In five games, Edwards averaged 6.6 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.4 assists.

Soph. G Azariah Fields, Mount Olive (2018 New Hanover grad): Finished with 15 points on 6 of 15 shooting in a 62-56 win at King on Jan. 4.


***Full list of area swimmers in college***

Fr. Brenna Divoky, Campbell (2019 Ashley grad): Had a solid week in the breaststroke, finishing fourth in the 100 (1:11.06) and fifth in the 200 (2:35.14) against UNCW on Friday. In Wednesday’s meet against Vanderbilt, Divoky was sixth in the 100 breaststroke (1:11.92).

New Hanover graduate Helen Duffy now swims at Davidson. [Davidson Athletics]

Jr. Helen Duffy, Davidson (2016 New Hanover grad): Scored 39 points for the Wildcats at the three-day Bucknell Invitational. Duffy was eighth in the 100 breaststroke (1:06.19), 12th in the 200 breaststroke (2:23.59), 24th in the 200 IM (2:12.92) and 24th in the 100 butterfly (59.49). She had third-place finishes in the 200 breaststroke (2:30.92) and 200 medley relay (1:49.51) and a fourth-place finish in the 100 breaststroke (1:09.05) on Saturday at UNCW.

Soph. Drew Marshall, Campbell (2018 Topsail grad): In Friday’s 136-126 loss to UNCW, Marshall finished fourth in the 200 backstroke (2:10.74) and fifth in the 200 IM (2:17.41).

Fr. Kate Pottle, Davidson (2019 New Hanover grad): In her return home against UNCW on Saturday, Pottle was second in the 1,000 freestyle (11:01.66) and fifth in the 500 freestyle (5:20.72).


***Full list of area wrestlers in college***

Jr. Jonathan Miller, UNC Pembroke (2015 Laney grad): Picked up wins over CSU-Pueblo (13-1 major decision) and Colorado Mesa (9-3 decision) to help the Braves earn a pair of victories on Saturday.

Jr. Kevin Saravia, Life (2017 Laney grad): Had a pin in 1:01 at 125 pounds to help his team earn a 30-16 victory over University of the Cumberlands at the NWCA National Duals on Friday.