CHANUTE -- Fort Scott High School's tennis team got ready for Thursday's Southeast Kansas League Tournament by winning the Chanute Invitational here Friday.
This was a bracketed tournament instead of the usual round-robin format, so entrants received points for how many matches they won instead of where they placed. Fort Scott and Paola both scored 9 points but the Tigers took the tie-breakers by winning more games in their matches, 90 to Paola's 85.
"This was a good tune up for the SEK Tournament next week," Fort Scott head coach Lynn Barr said. "It was nice to finally be able to put our complete varsity line up on the court all in the same tournament for the first time all season. We still have things to work on and improve on, but this team has been showing progress in the last few weeks and I'm looking forward to seeing them compete at the SEK Tournament on Thursday."
The No. 2 doubles team of Davis Drake and Gage Addington (9-9 for the season) took first place with a 3-0 record for the day. They defeated Neodesha's Alex Warrington/Chris Farmer, 8-4, shut out Chanute's Cornell Littleton/Hunter King and beat Paola's Steve Beets/Dalton Jorgensen, 8-5.
"Davis and Gage had a very good tournament," Barr said. "They had a few ups and downs in their matches, but overall played some very good tennis while sweeping there three matches. The wins over Neodesha and Paola were both against pretty strong teams, and we had to play well to win. These two have improved as the season progressed and we are looking for a good showing by them on Thursday."
Bryce Daly and Kyle Altic (5-1) took second in No. 1 singles. They defeated Zeph Larney/Jordan Strickler of Iola, 8-1, and Jobi Dobrck/Seth Roberts of Paola, 8-3. They fell in the final to Mac Fyfe/Daniel Railsback of Paola, 8-6.
"Bryce and Kyle opened with two solid matches, playing good tennis," Barr said. "In the final match, Neodesha came out strong and put us on our heels early in the match and jumped out to a quick 0-4 lead. Bryce and Kyle settled down and responded well coming back to force a tie at 6-6 before dropping the final two games. The final game went to deuce many times before Neodesha (came) away with the win.
"This probably was a good wake-up call for Bryce and Kyle though, they needed to see some tough competition before the SEK Tournament because No. 1 doubles will be a very strong bracket in this year's tournament."
Matt Hull (5-6) placed second in No. 2 singles. He beat Adian Carter of Labette County, 8-1, and Keaton Kaufman of Neodesha, 8-3, before losing in the final in a tie-breaker to Paola's Matt Hoeffele, 8-7 (9-7).
"Matt opened with two solid wins,' Barr noted. "His final match (had) two very evenly-matched players. Matt should do a great job for us in No. 2 singles at the SEK Tournament. He understands the game. If he makes himself hard to beat by being consistent and keeps his opponent deep and moves him around, he should score well for us.
Austin Sather (9-7) went 2-1 in No. 1 singles to finish fifth. He lost his first match, 8-6, to Columbus' Cody Spainhoward the won the final two, an 8-3 verdict versus Iola's Brad Bazo and a shut out of El Dorado's Lee Harter.
"Austin had a very solid tournament," Barr said. "His only loss came again to Spainhoward and again it was a very close match that could have gone either way. Following the loss, he came back with two very solid wins. Austin's game is really starting to come together at this point in the season, he has been playing better and better in the last couple of weeks."
The SEK Tournament will begin at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning at Pittsburg State's courts. Since the home varsity tournament was rained out, this is the closest thing the Tigers will have to a home match this season.
JUNIOR VARSITY -- Fort Scott's junior varsity team played in a dual at Pittsburg Friday. Results are as follows (Fort Scott player listed first):
* -- Michael Flater lost to Zach Dee, 7-5, in No. 1 singles.
* -- Hayden Barr defeated Ryan Newcombe, 6-1, in No. 2 singles.
* -- Jesse Guerro lost to Joey Earheart, 6-1, in No. 3 singles.
* -- Jon Carpenter lost to Jack Patterson in No. 4 singles, 6-2.
* -- Flater and Barr lost to Newcombe and Earhart in No. 1 doubles, 6-2.
* -- Guerro and Carpenter lost to Patterson and Seth Snyder in No. 2 doubles, 6-3.