Tigers 5th in SEK tennis

Friday, April 28, 2017

PITTSBURG — Not surprisingly, Independence won its sixth consecutive Southeast Kansas League tennis championship here Thursday. The Bulldogs finished with 23 points and individual champions in No. 2 singles and No. 1 doubles. Parsons was second with 19 points and Pittsburg with 17.

Fort Scott finished fifth with 11 points, one behind Chanute.

“Of course we would have liked to higher both as a team and in some of the divisions, but overall I was pleased with the performance by our team,” Fort Scott head coach Lynn Barr said. “I was proud of the way our kids competed. They fought hard during this tournament and even when the fell behind continued to fight to get back in the match.”

Nick Patton (9-5) was fourth in No. 2 singled. He defeated Labette County’s Isaac Payne in the first round, 8-1, but fell to Independence’s Luke Bass, 6-0, 6-0. In consolation, he defeated Angelo Andoyo of Chanute, 8-2, then fell in the third-place match to Pittsburg’s Dakota Caudle, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.

“Nick is having a good year for a freshman,” Barr said. “He is showing improvement every match, and is gaining experience that will help him develop as a player, learning what he needs to continue to improve on.”

Bass went on to win the bracket with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Parsons’ Isaac Stringer in the final.

Jacob Bailey (10-21) was fifth in No. 1 singles. He lost in the first round to Devin McAfee of Pittsburg, 8-0. He then beat Noah Eytcheson of Coffeyville, 8-0. He fell to Alvaro Rivas of Chanute, 8-1, before taking fifth place over Noy Synakorn of Labette County, 8-5.

“Jacob had a nice tournament, winning the two matches we needed him to win in a very strong 1 Singles bracket,” Barr said.

Freshman Rudra Dixit of Parsons defeated Indy’s Zach Schroeder in the final, 7-6 (5), 6-3 to become Parsons’ first single champion since 2005. Schroeder won No. 1 singles his freshman and sophomore seasons before settling for second the past two years.

Alex Gorman and Micah Self (19-11) finished fourth in No. 1 doubles. The defeated Jaqwaun Williams/Luke Falkenstein of Labette County, 8-2, in the first round. They fell to Kyle Hutley/Adam Ball in the semifinals, 6-1, 6-2. They beat Caleb Dial/Noah Kangas of Pittsburg, 8-6, then fell to Fisher Lund/Brayden Frederick of Chanute, 6-0, 7-6 (7) in the third-place match.

“Alex and Micah came up with a big win against Pittsburg in a match that was back and forth through most of the match,” Barr said. “They really showed a lot, when after dropping the first set to a good Chanute team in the 3rd place match, fought back and forced the match to a tiebreaker in the second and very nearly won the tiebreak to force the match to a third set.”

Indy’s Sam Hilger and Will Schabel successfully defended their doubles title by beating Hutley and Ball in the finals, 6-3, 6-1.

Joe Adams and Elijah Wright took fourth in No. 2 doubles. They lost to Pat Sullivan and James Richey, the eventual champions, in the first round, 8-5. They drew a bye then defeated Josh O’Hara/Trey Martinez of Parsons, 8-7 (5) before falling to Indy’s Daniel Grice/Kyle Woods, 6-2, 6-2 in the third-place match.

“They played well and won a tough match against Parsons ... before losing a match that was much closer than the score would indicate in the third-place match,” Barr said.

Sullivan and Richey defeated Chanute’s Scout Lee and Braden Robinson in the final, 7-6 (5), 6-2.

The Tigers will take part in the Chanute Class 4A Regional Tournament next Thursday and Friday. The field includes Chanute, Coffeyville, Columbus, Independence, Iola, Labette County, Parsons and Winfield.