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Lanesville finishes 6th in tennis invitational

Rebels’ tennis returns
Lanesville finishes 6th in tennis invitational
Lanesville finishes 6th in tennis invitational
South Central junior Ty Jones uses a two-handed backhand to return a serve during his first-round match against Austin’s Brendan Hanner in Saturday’s New Albany Invitational. Photo by Brandon Miniard
Brandon Miniard, Sports Writer, [email protected]

While the past week had seen mostly days filled with high heat and humidity, New Albany High School saw mostly pop-up showers on Friday. The sudden inclement weather threw a wrench into the plans of its annual boys’ tennis invitational, which was set to be a two-day weekend affair. Instead, the host Bulldogs watched its seven challengers converge at the 10-court tennis complex early Saturday morning with the expectation of completing the tournament in a single day.

Alongside the host and defending champion Bulldogs, the tournament field consisted of its regulars in Lanesville, South Central, Providence, Silver Creek, Eastern (Pekin), Scottsburg, Lanesville and North Harrison Invitational champion Austin. The South Central Rebels recently returned to competition after dealing with COVID-19, which prompted them to drop out of the recent North Harrison Invitational.

At the end of a long, hot day of matches, the championship spoils went to Silver Creek for the third time in the last four years after winning the top two singles flights and No. 2 doubles, accumulating 47 points. Austin followed its performance in Ramsey a week prior by finishing second courtesy of reaching the championship round in all three singles flights and No. 2 doubles, which accounted for 32 of its 38 points. They were followed by the host Bulldogs (30), Providence (29), Scottsburg (22), Lanesville (17), Eastern (7) and South Central (1).

In the top singles flight, Lanesville’s Dawson Teeter and South Central’s Ty Jones started the day dropping identical 6-1, 6-0 first-round matches to Providence’s Alex Kemp and Austin’s Brendan Hanner, respectively. Teeter won his next match against Eastern’s Conner Fleming 6-4, 6-2, while Jones had the displeasure of facing Bulldogs’ ace John Fulmer before falling 6-0, 6-0. Teeter fared no better when he confronted Fulmer in the fourth-place match, finishing sixth after being swept in straight sets as well.

Jones, along with teammates Brian Coffman (No. 3 singles), the duo of Ethan Hedden and Carson Ridge (No. 1 doubles) and the freshman tandem of Andrew Meeks and Peyton Tyree (No. 2 doubles), failed to record a win in their respective flights. Junior Craig Simpson was on the verge of the same fate as he battled Eastern’s Dustin Costin, eventually prevailing 6-4, 6-4 to finish seventh at No. 2 singles, awarding the Rebels their only point of the tournament.

Lanesville’s Jack Crosby had a slightly easier time in the opening round as he began opposite Simpson on the bracket. Facing Costin, Crosby needed a second-set tiebreaker to come out victorious 6-3, 4-6, 10-6. The first-round battle did him no favors as he dropped his next two matches to Austin’s Cameron Richey (6-3, 6-2) and New Albany’s JT Zimmerman (6-0, 6-1) to finish fifth in No. 2 singles.

Lanesville’s Ben Austin’s first-round performance at No. 3 singles could be considered a surprise, especially to New Albany’s Ben Segel after losing to Austin 6-2, 6-0. The victory was a clear indicator of a lack of rust from being out of action for a couple of weeks with an ankle injury. He continued to show grit in his second showing back from injury before ultimately falling to Austin’s Blake Stamper 7-5, 6-4. Austin had to settle for fifth place when he fell to Silver Creek’s Camden Smith 6-1, 6-2 in the third-place match.

While the singles matches took place at New Albany High School, the doubles matches were sent to the six-court tennis complex behind nearby Scribner Middle School to help accelerate the tournament’s pace. Lanesville’s Ty Tidstrom and Ethan Patterson, alongside South Central’s Hedden and Ridge did not fare too well in the opening round of No. 1 doubles, setting up a loser’s bracket matchup between the rival schools. The duo in purple easily dispatched Hedden and Ridge 6-1, 6-0 before falling to Silver Creek’s Carter Smith and Lucas Densford 6-3, 6-1 in the fourth-place match.

A similar series of events occurred at No. 2 doubles after the Eagles’ John Albers and Marcus Hadley and the Rebels’ Tyree and Meeks lost their opening rounds against Silver Creek and Scottsburg, respectively. Al-
bers and Hadley handled Meeks and Tyree 6-0, 6-1 before needing three sets to defeat New Albany’s Gavin and Blaine Hamilton 4-6, 7-5, 10-3, finishing with the Eagles’ best flight finish at fourth place.

The Eagles’ sixth-place finish was down from a year ago when they finished runner-up to the host Bulldogs. The Rebels’ one-point performance lands them in last place for the third time in the last four years.

Team Scores: 1. Silver Creek 47, 2. Austin 38, 3. New Albany 30, 4. Providence 29, 5. Scottsburg 22, 6. Lanesville 17, 7. Eastern (Pekin) 7, 8. South Central 1.

Championship Matches: No. 1 singles: Grant Miller (SIL) def. Brendan Hanner (AU) 6-1, 6-0; No. 2 singles: Samuel Harris (SIL) def. Cameron Richey (AU) 6-0, 6-0; No. 3 singles: Jacob Kaiser (PR) def. Black Stamper (AU) 6-2, 6-1; No. 1 doubles: Noah Johnson/Carson Chandler (NA) def. Mayson Cutter/Jace Watson (SB) 6-1, 6-3; No. 2 doubles: Evan Chevalier/Chase Richardson (SIL) def. Parker Bruce/Nick Henderson (AU) 7-5, 6-2.