HIGH SCHOOL TENNIS

Mounties defend home court in 4-1 win over Mustangs

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NEW MARKET — The Southmont boys’ tennis team picked up a key non-conference win over Fountain Central 4-1 on Monday night.

The Mustangs defeated the Mounties twice last season, including in the regional semifinals — but the more experienced Southmont team took care of business on Monday.

“Every win is a big deal at the moment,” Southmont coach Nathan Poynter said. “Of course Fountain Central last year beat us and it’s went back and forth. They’ve beat us probably in the last 12 years more than we’ve been them. So anytime you win over a school that’s been very competitive against you, it’s still mentally a very big win.”

Junior Adam Cox defeated Fountain Central freshman Skyler Hoagland 6-2, 6-0 at No. 1 singles, while Luke Tesmer beat Brayden Prickett 6-2, 6-3 at the No. 2 spot. The Mounties duo of Chayce Howell and Harrison Haddock helped seal the win with a victory over Noah Armstrong and Lukas Miller 6-4, 6-0 at No. 2 doubles. Southmont returned last years’ starters at all three of those spots, while Prickett is the only regular starter returning for the Mustangs this season.

“They’re experienced youth,” Fountain Central coach Chris Webb said. “And there is a difference. They’ve seen a lot of success and have a lot of players back that played at the varsity level last year and won a sectional. We know Southmont and they’re really really good. So I’m happy with our result tonight.”

Southmont’s fourth win came at No. 1 doubles from Mason Hall and Caden Jones — beating Carter Merryman and Koby Wolf 5-7, 7-6(7), 10-7.

While Poynter will look at Cox and Tesmer for wins on a nightly basis — he carries a lot of confidence in his two doubles teams.

“No. 2 doubles tensed up and made the first set close,” he said. “If I can get them playing close, nobody is going to play with them. When they play loose, they’re good. But when my No. 1 doubles plays loose, they’re really good. So that’s the big thing, I’ve got to get both doubles teams playing loose and relaxed and playing hard.”

Fountain Central’s lone win came at No. 3 singles with Gabe McCollum defeating Hayden Hess 6-4, 6-1.

Overall, Webb was pleased with Prickett at No. 2 singles and his No. 1 doubles team.

“I thought Brayden played really well at No. 2 singles tonight, he extended that match along time,” Webb said. “He looked good playing both defensive tennis and playing a little bit more aggressive. He’s going to have to learn to be a little bit more consistent and trust his shots a little bit more. And I thought our No. 1 doubles team played their best tennis so far this early season.”

Fountain Central is 2-1 and hosts North Montgomery tonight, while Southmont hosts Western Boone.

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