PITTSBURG, Kan. -- Both Fort Scott High School doubles teams were undefeated in their brackets here Thursday as the Tigers finished in second place in the Pittsburg Invitational on the Pittsburg State University courts.
Pittsburg scored 14 points to take the team title while Fort Scott had 13. Labette County finished third with 7 points followed by Columbus with 3 and Iola with 2.
"Overall we had to be pleased with our play in the tournament," Fort Scott head coach Lynn Barr said. "Winning 13 of 16 matches can't be taken for granted, though of course we would have liked to have won them all. The girls continue to play hard and for the most part are stroking the ball pretty well and executing their strokes and executing their strategies. With (the league tournament) only a week away, we have to build on the success we have had and keep pushing to improve."
Michelle Buntain and Corina Harrison improved their season record to 15-4 with a sweep through the No. 1 doubles bracket. They shut out their first three opponents and lost just one set all day. They swept Abbey St. Clair/Alexis Hobbs of Iola, Kristine Davolt/Staci Derfelt of Columbus and Laikyn Long/MaKayla Pichler of Pittsburg. They also beat Emily McCoach/Patricia Stevenson of Labette County, 8-1.
"Michelle and Corina continue to play well," Barr said. "They have developed into one of the league's better doubles teams and keep getting better each week. They were never really challenged yesterday, but they remained focused on what they needed to do and executed well and played good doubles."
Kenna Savage and Jennifer Harrison were paired together for the first time this season and won three matches in No. 2 doubles by a combined 24-2 margin while also winning a match from Columbus by default. They shut out Shelby Reno/Bobbi Sinclair of Iola and Candance Carr/Haley Page of LCHS and beat Emily Baden/Katie Phalen of Pittsburg, 8-2.
"They also were never really challenged in their matches yesterday, but remained focused, executed well and took care of business," Barr said. "Jennifer has been a great addition to our team, coming in as a freshman and playing the level of tennis that she has. And Kenna has developed into an excellent doubles player and probably plays at the most consistent level of anyone on our team day in and day out."
Courtney Crain (4-4) played No. 1 singles and finished in second place. This was her first singles action since she had to withdraw from the Labette County Tournament Aug. 30 after just two matches due to illness. She went 3-1 Thursday, beating Katana Smith of Iola, 8-1, and Ashley Simpson of Columbus, 8-0, in her first two matches. She lost to Pittsburg's Katy Short, 8-6, but beat LC's Paige Smith in a tie-breaker, 8-7 (7-4), to finish her day.
"She had little trouble in the first two matches (and) fell behind against Pittsburg early in the match,' Barr said. "(Short) was really playing well, but Courtney just kept battling back coming from 0-5 to tie it at 5 all and then nearly getting it to a tiebreaker. Against the (Paige Smith), Courtney built an early lead, but her opponent fought back to tie the match and take a one-game lead, then Courtney rallied back with some strong play winning in a tiebreaker."
Krista Hightower (6-5) was 2-2 in No. 2 singles. She beat Megan Smith of Iola, 8-2, and Alyssa Goodwin of Columbus, 8-0. She lost to Pittsburg's Brittany Wilde, 8-3, and LC's Sami Brown, 8-2.
"Krista is continuing to play some of her best tennis," Barr said. "(Wilde) is playing very well right now and it was a tough match with Krista winning a lot of points, but just not getting enough to win a few more games. In that match, Krista rolled an ankle and there was some question whether she would even be able to play the final match against LCHS, but she was determined to play. It was obvious even with the brace she was wearing that it was bothering her, but Krista showed a lot of determination and heart and played a tough match and really battled with (Brown) even though she was having trouble moving around the court. Hopefully with some rest, she will be back to full speed and ready to go next week at the SEK Tournament."
The Tigers will host Nevada at 4 p.m. Tuesday.