Tigers Make Smoke­screen Back­fire On Gravette

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Mark Humphrey

PRAIRIE GROVE — Har­ri­son won both boys and girls sin­gles ti­tles while Prairie Grove team­mates, Cole Vertz and Bran­don Le­Duc, fin­ished se­cond and third in boys sin­gles com­pe­ti­tion at dis­trict ten­nis.

No. 1 seed Don­nie Arm­strong, of Har­ri­son, won the boys sin­gles while his coun­ter­part No. 1 seed, Clairie Doshier, of Har­ri­son, won the girls sin­gles crown.

An in­jury to ju­nior Will Luther, who along with Vertz, formed the Tiger boys No. 1 dou­bles team through­out the sea­son, forced Prairie Grove ten­nis coach Dana Froud to re­ar­range the lineup in the week prior to dis­trict.

Luther was struck in the head by a line drive while play­ing base­ball. Prairie Grove’s No. 2 boys dou­bles team of Luke Mitchell and ju­nior Micah Sam be­came the Tigers No. 1 dou­bles. Prairie Grove ju­nior Grif­fin Ro­ton was boys No. 2 sin­gles. He and se­nior Noah Akey com­peted as the Tigers No. 2 boys dou­bles team on se­nior night Sept. 20.

The switches made by Froud af­fected sin­gles com­pe­ti­tion. Le­Duc re­mained No. 1 while Vertz stepped into the Tigers’ No. 2 sin­gles slot.

Vertz, seeded fifth, up­set a pair of higher-ranked op­po­nents. He de­feated No. 4 seed Ethan Bell, of Har­ri­son, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, in one of the most com­pet­i­tive matches of the en­tire tour­na­ment. Vertz up­set No. 3 seed, Con­ner Kennedy, of Farm­ing­ton, 1-6, 6-4, 6-4, in the semi­fi­nals be­fore los­ing to No. 1 seed Don­nie Arm­strong, of Har­ri­son, 6-3, 3-6, 6-3, in the fi­nal.

Arm­strong had a first-round bye, then beat No. 4 seed Le­Duc, of Prairie Grove, 6-4, 6-1, in the semi­fi­nal. Le­Duc de­feated Gavin Pen­ning­ton, of Farm­ing­ton, 6-0, 7-5, in the firstround. Le­Duc de­feated Kennedy in the con­so­la­tion match and won 8-4 to place third. Kennedy be­gan the tour­na­ment by de­feat­ing Ken­dall Ferm, of Shiloh Chris­tian, 6-1, 6-2.

In boys dou­bles, No. 4 seeded Micah Sam and Luke Mitchell, of Prairie Grove, lost to Farm­ing­ton’s Joshua Jow­ers and Noah Disheroon seeded No. 1 in the tour­na­ment bracket, 6-1, 6-1, in the semi­fi­nals. Sam and Mitchell de­feated Luke Short and Car­son Rick­etts, of Har­ri­son, 6-4, 6-2, in the first-round. The Prairie Grove duo claimed third place by up­stag­ing No. 3 seeded Ma­son Har­ri­son and Joey Adams, of Har­ri­son, 8-2, in the con­so­la­tion match.

“Cole au­to­mat­i­cally qual­i­fies for state,” Froud said. “There is a meet­ing on the fourth to de­cide which third-place kids get to go. Not all of our (4A-1) third-place kids get to go.”

The top two fin­ish­ers from dis­trict ad­vance to the 2018 State 4A ten­nis tour­na­ment hosted by Pu­laski Academy at the Reb­samen Ten­nis Cen­ter, 1501 Leisure Place, in Lit­tle Rock Oct. 8-9.


In the first-round, Doshier de­feated Prairie Grove’s Grace Gauldin, 6-0, 6-0. Prairie Grove ju­nior Sarah Myane lost 6-1, 6-2 to No. 3 seed Elise Bell, of Har­ri­son, in the first-round.

Farm­ing­ton’s Is­abella Guess and Mor­gan Camp­bell up­set No. 4 seeded Prairie Grove’s Alyssa Le­Duc and Julissa Mauk, 6-2, 5-7, 6-4, in the first-round. Maci Ed­wards and Toni Par­rish lost to Farm­ing­ton’s Taighton Pet­ti­grew and Mary Ste­wart-Beard, 6-1, 6-1, in the first-round.

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