Tigers Make Smokescreen Backfire On Gravette
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.