BOYS TENNIS

Athenians extend SAC win streak, handle Chargers

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LINDEN — Crawfordsville boys’ tennis is starting to find its rhythm. After a tough start to the season, Crawfordsville extended its Sagamore Conference winning streak to three games with a 4-1 win over county rival North Montgomery Monday evening.

The win for the Athenians improves their conference record to 3-1 on the season. After a 5-0 defeat against fellow county rival Southmont, Crawfordsville has defeated Western Boone, Lebanon and now North Montgomery.

“I’m proud of the way we keep progressing,” Athenian coach Craig Brainard said. “Our older guys are being good leaders and our younger guys are starting to find their game and continuing to work hard. North fought hard tonight and didn’t make it easy for our guys.”

James Murphy defeated Will McKinnis 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 singles. Freshman Wyatt Motz took care of business for the Athenians at No. 2 singles with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Hayden Turner.

The lone win for the Chargers came at No. 3 singles as Beckett Martin defeated James Novak 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.

Thatcher Gambrel and Ziair Morgan picked up a 6-1, 6-3 win at No. 1 doubles over Nate McCoy and Brookes Walters while the duo of Jude Hutchison and Thomas Bowling defeated Haze Kashon and Owen Utterback at No. 2 doubles 3-6, 6-2, 6-2

“I like our current lineup and really think we’re starting to gel,” Brainard said. “Wyatt as a freshman is really starting to be consistent for us. Hopefully we’re eyeballing that 2nd spot in the conference and be the best that we can be for sectionals.”

The Chargers who are still working on getting back from their two-week absence due to COVID-19, played just their fourth match of the season. First year coach Dane Baldwin knows that it’ll take some time to get back in the swing of things.

“That two-week break killed us,” he said. “My dad (assistant coach Steve Baldwin) were still learning these kids and how they play, what they need to work on. Overall, though, I still think we’re on the right path and we still have the right mindset. We just need to get some more practices in and we’ll be alright.”

Baldwin was impressed with how Martin was able to battle an experienced varsity player at three singles in Novak and come away with his first varsity win.

“He needs that kind of experience,” Baldwin said of Martin’s three set win. “We have a lot of young guys on this team who just need to play tight matches like that. We’ve had some already that haven’t gone in our favor this season so it was nice to see him pull through.”

Crawfordsville will look to continue their SAC success tonight at they will host Danville.

North Montgomery will also be back in action this evening as they travel to take on Frankfort.

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