The stage is now set as Crawfordsville and Southmont boys tennis both picked up victories on Wednesday as sectional play got underway at CHS. Crawfordsville was able to take care of county rival North Montgomery 5-0 while the Mounties defeated Parke Heritage 4-1.
Both matches were re-matches of the regular season for all four teams and both yielded the same results as now on Thursday Crawfordsville and Southmont will battle in another re-match for the sectional title.
For Crawfordsville James Murphy picked up a win at one singles 6-0, 6-1 over Owen Utterback while Wyatt Motz took care of Hayden Turner at two singles 6-0, 6-2. Rowan Gambrel rounded out the singles wins for CHS with a 6-1, 6-0 win over Alex Chapman at three singles.
The one doubles team of Jude Hutchison and Jude Coursey notched a 6-2, 6-1 win over Brookes Walters and Beckett Martin while Thomas Bowling and Nolan Watt took down Haze Kashon and Nate McCoy 6-3, 6-3 at two doubles.
“Our guys are playing like we’re still in the driver seat,” Crawfordsville coach Craig Brainard said. “They’re pumped about being able to play for a sectional title. I’m proud of where their mental game is right now. You still have to give North a ton of credit. They played us better than when we played them in the regular season.”
The Chargers end their season with a record of 6-16 as they doubled their win total from a season ago including playing in some close battled where they fell just short. Overall coach Dane Baldwin saw many positives to take away from this year.
“I think every single player improved this year,” Baldwin said. “We have some talent coming up through the ranks for next season so the goal is hopefully for all of our returners to put in the work and if that happens I think we can be very competitive again. This season we could’ve easily had some of our close matches go our way but that tennis goes sometimes. I’m proud of the guys for doubling the win total, that’s a big step in the right direction.”
North Montgomery will lose three varsity seniors in Walters, Kashon, and Turner. Jaxin Wethington also graduates for the Chargers.
Earlier this past season Southmont and Crawfordsville battled in a tight 3-2 match with the deciding win coming at three singles for CHS with the match tied at 2-2. Brainard knows the target is now on his team’s back as the Mounties will look to get the ultimate revenge on the county and conference champions.
“We know we have the pressure on us maintain the success we had against them earlier,” Brainard said. “I think we’re just both really competitive teams and it’s going to be another fun battle. It’s going to come down to whoever is able to execute at the highest level. A sectional title would be a great achievement on what’s already been a fantastic season.”
Mounties pick up convincing win over Wolves
Southmont saved its best tennis for when the pressure was the highest as the took care of the Wolves on Wednesday.
The only loss came at one doubles with the team of Mason Hall and Chayce Howell falling to Garrett McCalister and Max Dowd 6-2, 6-7(5), 3-6. At all other spots the Mounties were able to handle their opponent as Adam Cox picked up a 6-3, 6-1 win over Lewie Woody at one singles. Luke Tesmer quickly dismissed Carson McCalister 6-0, 6-0 at two singles and Harrison Haddock defeated Mason Bowsher 6-3, 6-2. The fourth victory came at two doubles as the duo of Caden Jones and Gavin Downey notched a 6-2, 6-2 win over Aidan Crum and Gavin Jacks.
“Everyone came out and played really well tonight,” Southmont coach Nathan Poynter said. “We started off very strong. That one doubles team that Parke Heritage has is probably the second best doubles team we’ve seen this year. I’m still happy with how Mason and Chayce played. I think the biggest difference tonight was that nobody let up when they got ahead. That style of play is what we’ve been after.”
South will be gunning for its third sectional title in the last four seasons when they square off with their county rivals Wednesday night back at CHS. Poynter knows that if his team wants redemption, they will have to come ready to play.
“They remember how they felt when they beat us in the regular season,” he said. “They’ll use it as motivation but it comes down to simply they have to be ready to play from the first serve. We’ve got to be in the right mindset and if we come like out I know we can then I think our odds are very good.”
The Mounties and the Athenians with nothing less than a sectional title at stake. Two county rivals playing for all the marbles. Play at CHS is set to begin on Wednesday at 4:45.
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