Crawfordsville and Southmont each edged their sectional semifinal opponent on Wednesday to advance to the boys’ tennis sectional final at Crawfordsville for a second straight season.
The Athenians defeated Montgomery County rival North Montgomery 3-2, while the Mounties squeaked by Parke Heritage 3-2.
While the wind played a factor, Thatcher Gambrel prevailed for the Athenians at No. 2 singles and Southmont’s duo of Micah Korhorn and Mason Hall sealed the win for the Mounties at No. 1 doubles.
“The wind is an issue and we are going to have it again tomorrow night,” Southmont coach Nathan Poynter said. “You’ve really got to have the footwork for a windy day, and most of the kids did real well adapting to that.”
Korhorn and Hall defeated Ty York and Garrett McCalister 6-4, 6-2, while Adam Cox beat Evan James 6-1, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, and Luke Watson beat Mason Bowsher 6-2, 6-1 in the No. 3 spot.
Luke Tesmer fell 6-2, 6-4 to Joel Gooch at No. 2 singles, while Chayce Howell and Harrison Haddock lost to Gavin Jacks and Max Dowd 6-3, 6-0 at No. 2 doubles.
Gambrel beat North Montgomery’s Alex Chapman 6-3, 7-5 at No. 2 singles for Crawfordsville, while Austin Motz beat Hunter Kashon 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 singles and James Murphy handed Hayden Turner a 6-0, 6-3 loss at No. 3 singles.
The Chargers were able to sweep the doubles spots with a win by Brookes Walters and Will McKinniss 6-3, 2-6, 6-1 over Zach Fichter and Ziair Morgan at No. 1 doubles, and Nate McCoy and Owen Utterbak beat Thomas Bowling and James Novak 6-3, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles.
“To sweep the doubles was great,” North Montgomery coach Rick Holtz said. “We knew it was going to come down to we had to win both doubles, and we had to steal one of the singles. We just couldn’t put it together at singles.”
The Chargers graduate just one senior in Kashon, and Holtz is hoping to build off a strong finish to the season.
“We have a ton of guys coming back,” he said. “I guess that’s one of the benefits of being a young team.”
Southmont defeated Crawfordsville 4-1 during the regular season, but Brainard knows it’s important to leave that match far in the rearview mirror.
“I think it’s going to take these guys thinking not so much about the past, whether it’s the match that we played them in the regular season or the previous point,” the Athenian coach said. “It’s going to be these guys having short memories and forgiving themselves for mistakes they make and playing intelligent out on the court.”
And Poynter knows the match is won on the court and not on paper.
“You can’t even think you have something won, cause it just doesn’t happen that way,” he said. “You have to be ready. You have to start off on a good note.”
Southmont is aiming at a second straight sectional title, while Crawfordsville is looking for its first title since 2017.