PARSONS -- Fort Scott High School's tennis team returned here Wednesday to conclude a tournament that was interrupted by storms last Friday. Some of the top schools in the league were present, including Pittsburg, Parsons and defending champion Independence.
"This was a really tough tournament and a good indication of the strength of the top teams in the SEK at this point in the season," Fort Scott head coach Lynn Barr said. "I thought our team played hard and competed pretty well."
Austin Sather went 2-2 in No. 1 singles. He lost a tie-breaker to Pittsburg's Hank Cloninger, 8-7 (7-0) and was shut out by Parsons' Payton Hayes. He defeated Independence's Ty Schabel in a tie-breaker 8-7 (7-1) and won by default over Coffeyville's Drew Rising.
"Austin had a good tournament and played probably his best tennis of the season so far," Barr said. "He is getting more comfortable and finding ways to stay in matches and make his opponent work hard to beat him. In the loss to Pittsburg he played well and had chances to close it out, but couldn't capitalize. Against Indy, he came back from a 4-7 deficit to force the tiebreaker and then took an early lead in the tiebreaker and was able to close out the match by just playing good sound tennis."
Jesse Guerro was 0-4 at No.2 singles. He lost to Brandon Smith of Pittsburg, Kevin Debauld of Parsons and Aidan Goodrich of Independence, all 8-0, and to Coffeyville's Christian Patryzkant, 8-6.
"Jesse played some of the best tennis he has played this season and has come a long way since the beginning of the season," Barr said. "He is just starting out as a tennis player and has had to step up and play some varsity for us this season due to our number situation and even though he hasn't won, he has done played hard and continued to give his best."
Davis Drake and Gage Addington were 0-4 in No. 1 doubles. They lost to Sean Perkins/Jake Cloninger of Pittsburg, 8-3; John Paul Hurley/Parker Robertson of Parsons, 8-1; Gavin Webster/Tyler Posch of Independence, 8-0; and Quinton Heshey/Josh Mitchell of Coffeyville, 8-8 (7-3).
Matt Hull and Hayden Barr were 0-4 at No. 2 singles. They fell to Pittsburg's Micah Hashman/Nick Powers, 8-4; Parsons' Patrick Jacquinot/Tyler Beardmore, 8-6; Indy's Skye Conley/Collin Cushing, 8-4; and Coffeyville's Austin Holman/Brad Eastman, 8-2.
Fort Scott's regular-season schedule concludes this afternoon at the Chanute Invitational. The Southeast Kansas League Tournament will be held in Pittsburg Thursday.
"Our record is a little deceptive, but I like the way this team is coming together at the end of the season," Barr said. "Austin and Matt will both be able to compete and do a good job in singles. With Kyle (Altic) and Bryce (Daly) stepping into the No. 1 doubles slot, it will allow us to move Davis and Gage to the No. 2 doubles position."