KENDAL Hammel’s worst fears played out as Thursday’s Columbus North-Columbus East sectional semifinal boys tennis match came down to a final match.
But North sophomore Mitchell Miller and freshman Aditya Mantri pulled out a 6-4, 7-5 victory against East’s Conner Jensen and Alex Galle at No. 2 doubles to give the host Bull Dogs a 3-2 victory and a berth in today’s 4:30 p.m. sectional final against Brown County.
“What I didn’t want to happen was to come down to 2-2, and it did,” Hammel said. “Fortunately, we were able to get that first set under our belt, got a little tight in that second set down the stretch, but we were the lucky ones to pull it off.”
Miller and Mantri trailed 5-4 in the second set, and it looked like there would be a third and deciding set. But the North duo rallied to win three consecutive games to close the match.
“We really needed to step up our game,” Miller said. “We let them come back. We just needed to get some fire going and pull it off there. Last year, we lost to them both times, and to beat them both times this time, it feels so good.”
Since North has only eight courts, play began with North and East on four courts and Brown County and Hauser on the other four courts. The No. 2 doubles matches filled the first vacant courts, meaning they started about an hour after everyone else.
“I would have definitely liked to go on first, just after our warmup,” Mantri said. “But we had a duty, and we pulled it off.”
“At the beginning, we knew it was going to be tied up 2-2,” Miller said. “We knew we had to do our job and just win.”
The Olympians (13-4) took an early 1-0 lead when Jonathan James finished off a 6-0, 6-1 win against Krishan Narsinghani at No. 2 singles. The Bull Dogs (15-3) came back with Luke Red and Ernest Xi’s 7-6 (3), 6-2 victory against Matt Fuehne and Alex Pegram at No. 1 doubles and Kevin Luo’s 6-3, 6-4 win against Jo Jo Woolwine at No. 3 singles.
East tied it with Seth Meyer’s 6-1, 6-7 (6), 6-2 win against Anthony Sanders at No. 1 singles. Sanders had bumped up to No. 1 singles in place of Red, who moved to No. 1 doubles.
“Anthony played great,” Hammel said. “He came back and played a fantastic second set against Seth.”
With his victory, Meyer advanced in the singles tournament and will play a match Tuesday at Seymour.
Although North won by the same score as it did in the regular season, No. 3 singles was the only position that went the same way. The Bull Dogs swept the singles positions, and the Olympians won both doubles matches the last time they met.
“It was anxious at the very beginning of the match when we were getting our butts beat at No. 1 singles, No. 2 singles, No. 1 doubles,” Hammel said. “We thought we were ready to go, but they came out and took it to us early. But little by little, we got ourselves back into it.”
“I really thought that we had a pretty good chance at 1 and 2 singles, and I was kind of happy with the way that match started off because a lot of times, we’ll start real slow and then have to come back,” East coach Jim Stone said.
Brown County (11-9) advanced with a 3-2 win against Hauser (3-10). The Eagles swept the singles matches, and the Jets won the doubles matches.
Duncan Ricci downed Will Rose 6-1, 6-0 at No. 1 singles, Nate Miller beat Joel Benedict 6-0, 6-1 at No. 2 singles, and Shane Franklin topped Zane Urbans 6-1, 6-0 at No. 3 singles. Hauser’s Josh Elliot and Andrew Boyd downed Bryce Fish and Evan Rose 6-0, 6-3 at No. 1 doubles, and Alex Saylor and Kyle Benedict beat Brady Rose and Dakota Patterson 6-1, 6-3 at No. 2 doubles.
“Best 3-10 team you’re going to see,” Hauser coach John Pratt said. “When you are outmatched, undermanned as we’ve been all season, to take Brown County down to the wire 3-2 was just wonderful.”
North beat Brown County 5-0 during the regular season.
“As a smaller school, it’s nice to be able to get into the finals,” Brown County coach Kevin Roush said. “It would take a miracle for us to move on. Not that I don’t think our players will be up for it — I think they’re ready to play — it’s just a pretty big foe.”
Columbus East finishes HHC season unbeaten
SEYMOUR — Columbus East finished unbeaten in Hoosier Hills Conference play with a 3-0 victory against Seymour on Thursday.
The Olympians, 15-1-1 overall and 7-0 in conference play, did not allow a goal in HHC action.
It was more of the same Thursday as Emma Dwenger scored two goals and Rachel Amlung scored one for East. Dwenger, Sam Watters and Kristen Bellinger each had an assist.
Molly Macy, Bellinger and Elisa Watkins led the defense, while keepers Kirstin Kulich and Spencer Eudy each had a save in goal.
East won the junior varsity match 7-0, with Bailey Dowd scoring four goals. Hannah Park, Brooklyn Taulman and Bryn Eudy each scored a goal.
North shuts out Batesville as player comes back
With Morgan Proffitt returning to the lineup, Columbus North finished its regular season with a 3-0 shutout of visiting Batesville.
The Bull Dogs broke open a contest that was scoreless at halftime with three second-half goals. Gabby Sims, Kenadie Carlson and Proffitt all scored for North, while Kaci Tompkins picked up the game’s only assist.
Malissa Hofmeister and Michelle Amlung led the North defense while keeper Elizabeth James had two saves in goal.
North finished the regular season 6-7-3.
The Bull Dogs’ junior varsity won 1-0. Micah Shoaf scored the only goal, and keeper Kyra Dasovich had 20 saves.
Franklin records shutout in beating Brown County
FRANKLIN — Franklin ran past the Brown County girls soccer team 9-0 on Thursday.
Panthers edge Scottsburg and also win JV game
NORTH VERNON — Jennings County pulled out a 3-2 win against Scottsburg on Wednesday.
Zach Andis, Matt Starkey and Kyle Davis scored the goals for the Panthers, while Braden Lewis had two assists. Aidan Miller recorded nine saves, and Jackson Shepherd added seven.
Jennings won the JV game 4-1. Kyle Lewis, Joey Pappenheim, Reilly Losey and Jonathan Hill scored the goals, and Zach Taylor had an assist. Shepherd and Connor Hignite each posted nine saves.
Trinity runner in top 10 in meet at Eastern (Pekin)
PEKIN — The Trinity Lutheran girls squad placed fifth in the Eastern (Pekin) Invitational on Thursday as Erika Horton finished a team-best 10th in 22:54.
Danielle Shelley, who was battling a leg injury, was 15th in 23:27, and Allison Posey was 23rd in 23:52.
Providence won the team title while Salem was second, Brownstown was third and Scottsburg was fourth.
Edinburgh splits pair of matches in county tourney
GREENWOOD — Edinburgh lost to Center Grove in the Johnson County Tournament 25-12, 25-18, 25-10 on Thursday and then won the consolation match against Whiteland, 25-12, 25-19, 25-13.
Abby Bryant had 27 kills for Edinburgh, while Jennifer Stinson had 18 kills. Maile Cox added 42 assists for Edinburgh.
Edinburgh to dedicate newly named fields
Edinburgh Community High School will conduct a field naming and sign dedication ceremony for the Steve Hollenbeck Athletic Complex at 6:30 p.m. today, before the kickoff of the homecoming football game.
The ceremony will take place on the east end of the athletic complex off Eisenhower Drive near Campbell Street.
Hollenbeck, who died in Feb. 2011, was a longtime teacher and coach at Edinburgh. He worked in the school district for 35 years.
The Edinburgh football team will host Southside Home School at 7 tonight.