Missoulian Conrad girls, Cut Bank boys lead field
It was a good day for defending champions at the state Class B-C tennis tournament Friday at the University of Montana and Playfair Park courts.
Both singles champions and both of the defending champion doubles teams advanced to Saturday's finals.
Valley Christian's Neil DeGroot, the defending boys' singles champion, moved into the finals with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Michael Paulson of Cut Bank. He'll face Matt Lewis of Cut Bank, a 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-0 winner over Will Fleming of St. Ignatius, in the finals.
Last year's girls' singles champ, Keely Alexander of Superior, will get a shot at her second straight crown after downing Liz McKeone of Conrad 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals. Alexander will face Amy Pearson of Conrad in the finals. Pearson defeated Virginia Johnson of Boulder 7-5, 6-2 in the semis.
Superior's Alicia Hazlett and Arial Duncan, shooting for their third straight girls' doubles crown, moved into the finals with a 6-0, 6-0 win over Jessie Garnett and Jacquie Bruce of Conrad. They will face Tia Jensen and Jessica Gollehon of Conrad in the finals. The Conrad duo downed Lindsey Henderson and Kara Sevalstad of Superior 6-2, 6-1.
Valley Christian's defending champion boys' doubles team of John Elsen and Chris Jackson will get a chance to repeat after a 6-0, 6-1 win over Jeff Billman and Jack Woldtvedt of Cut Bank. Dan Lautzenheiser and Lucas Wall set up an all-Valley Christian final with a 6-3, 6-0 win over Kyle Hannah and Brandon Kavanaugh of Cut Bank in the other semifinal.
Cut Bank holds a 30-26 edge over Valley Christian in the boys' team race while Conrad is solidly ahead of Superior in the girls' race 34-21.
Team scores: Cut Bank 30, Valley Christian 26, St. Ignatius 18, Troy 8, Conrad 8, Missoula Loyola 6
Singles - Matt Lewis, Cut Bank, def. Will Fleming, St. Ignatius, 6-2, 6-7 (5-7), 6-0; Neil DeGroot, Valley Christian, def. Michael Paulson, Cut Bank, 7-5, 6-2.
Doubles - John Elsen-Chris Jackson, Valley Christian, def. Jeff Billman-Jack Woldtvedt, Cut Bank, 6-0, 6-1; Dan Lautzenheiser-Lucas Wall, Valley Christian, def. Kyle Hannah-Brandon Kavanaugh, Cut Bank, 6-3, 6-0.
Team scores: Conrad 34, Superior 21, Boulder 20, Darby 13, Fairfield 9, Troy 8, Chester 8, St. Ignatius 7, Baker 7, Cut Bank 5, Missoula Loyola 4, Valley Christian 4, Plains 3, Big Sandy 3, Eureka 3, Forsyth 1, Fort Benton 1
Singles - Keely Alexander, Superior, def. Jenny Lindberg, Cut Bank, 6-3, 6-3; Liz McKeone, Conrad, def. Bonny Bower, Darby, 6-4, 6-1; Virginia Johnson, Boulder, def. Amber Miller, Darby, 6-1, 6-4; Amy Pearson, Conrad, def. Windy Boltz, Troy, 6-1, 6-2.
Doubles - Arial Duncan-Alicia Hazlett, Superior, def. Mary Nelson-Megan Trowbridge, Darby, 6-1, 6-1; Jessie Garnett-Jacquie Bruce, Conrad, def. Deanna Hepperle-Marissa Proulx, Baker, 6-0, 6-3; Tia Jensen-Jessica Gollenhon, Conrad, def. Amanda Pokorny-Darcie Grass, Big Sandy, 6-0, 6-0; Lindsey Henderson-Kara Sevalstad, Superior, def. Jackie Gerdts-Jessica Johnson, St. Ignatius, 6-0, 6-2.
Singles - Alexander def. McKeone, 6-1, 6-2; Pearson def. Johnson, 7-5, 6-2.
Doubles - Duncan-Hazlett def. Garnett-Bruce, 6-0, 6-0; Jensen-Gollenhon def. Henderson-Sevalstad, 6-2, 6-1.