BOZEMAN - Missoula Hellgate took a big step toward earning its first boys' state tennis championship Friday with a strong first-day showing at the State AA tournament.
On the girls' side, Kalispell Glacier totalled 14 points and is tied for first place with Bozeman.
Lee Fritsen of Hellgate advanced to the boys' singles semifinals and Saturday's doubles semis will be an all-Hellgate affair. All that helped the Knights earn 24 points.
Hellgate's closest competition is Billings Senior with seven, followed by Helena Capital with six. Kalispell Glacier, Bozeman, Helena High and Great Falls High all scored five points.
Fritsen and Western AA divisional singles champion Tony Mayer of Hellgate each won first-round matches in straight sets. Fritsen moved into the semis with a 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 defeat of Thomas Staffileno of Billings Senior. But Mayer fell to Senior's Max Dimich-Louvet, 6-4, 6-0.
The Knights assured themselves of a doubles title after their four teams all earned berths in the semifinals.
Divisional champions Alex Braun and Eric Braun won a pair of matches in straight sets. They'll meet Hellgate teammates Sam Angel and Will Ballew, who also didn't drop a set in two matches in the semifinals.
The other semifinal will pit Hellgate's Avery Howard and Cody Jahrig against Lucas Matelich and Anders Nord after both teams won two matches Friday.
Glacier freshman Kellen Bates improved to 21-0 in singles competition this season with a pair of wins in straight sets.
The Glacier girls placed two in the singles semifinals as two-time state runner-up Liana Bates and Hailey Blalack both collected two wins.
The Wolfpack also saw their divisional champion doubles team of Cami Mathison and Veronica Walton earn a spot in the semifinals.
The Hellgate girls, who sent three singles and three doubles teams to the tournament, failed to put anyone in the semis.
Tournament action concludes Saturday.
State AA tournament
Team scores: Missoula Hellgate 24, Billings Senior 7, Helena Capital 6, Kalispell Glacier 5, Bozeman 5, Helena High 5, Great Falls High 5, Billings West 3, Great Falls 3, Billings Skyview 1,
First round - Thomas Staffileno, Sen, def. Patrick Phattharaampornchai, Glac, 6-2, 6-2; Lee Fritsen, Hgt, def. Will Pohl, Hel, 6-0, 6-2; Tyler Christianson, Cap, def. Blake Miller, Hgt, 6-1, 6-1; Kellen Bates, Glac, def. Nick Steffileno, Sen, 6-0, 6-2; Tony Mayer, Hgt, def. Zeke Williams, Boz, 6-0, 6-2; Max Dimich-Louvet, Sen, def. Joe Marra, GFH, 6-2, 6-1; Kyle Rohrer, GFH, def. Lucas Hert, Sky, 6-3, 6-4; Tyler Krushensky, Hel, def. Filipe Freire, Hgt, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4.
Quarterfinals - Fristen def. T. Staffileno, 6-2, 1-6, 6-4; Bates def. Christianson, 6-1, 6-1; Dimich-Louvet def. Mayer, 6-4, 6-0; Krushensky def. Rohrer, 6-4, 7-5.
First round - Taylor Pulis/Luke Ness, West, def. Nick Thompson/Sean Collins, Hel, 6-0, 6-0; Avery Howard/Cody Jahrig, Hgt, def. Alex Martinez/Brit Kessner, CMR, 3-6, 7-5, 6-2; Lucas Matelich/Anders Nord, Hgt, def. Jack Martinez/Eamon Ormseth, CMR, 6-3, 6-0; Andy White/Sean Allen, Boz, def. Elliot Mackin/Colin Maier, West, 6-1, 6-3; Alex Braun/Eric Braun, Hgt, def. Kyle Schmauch/Brandon Simpson, Glac, 6-1, 6-0; Sam Hatfield/Spencer Beswick, Boz, def. Jon Grewell/Austin Gee, West, 6-2, 6-2; Nate Christenson/Ryan Messmer, Cap, def. Hunter Hauptman/Bridger Blain, 6-2, 6-3; Sam Angel/Will Ballew, Hgt, def. Eli Meyer/Karch Lockerby, GFH, 7-5, 6-2.
Quarterfinals - Howard/Jahrig def. Pulis/Ness, 3-6, 6-3, 7-5; Matelich/Nord def. White/Allen,6-1, 6-2; Braun/Braun, def. Hatfield/Beswick, 6-3, 6-3; Angel/Ballew def. Christenson/Messmer, 6-4, 6-2.
Team scores: Bozeman 14, Kalispell Glacier 14, Great Falls High 10, Billings West 9, Missoula Hellgate 6, Missoula Big Sky 6, Billings Senior 3, Helena Capital 2, Billings Skyview 0, Helena High 0, Great Falls Russell 0.
First round - Jenna Fiscus, West, def. Amanda Dehlendorf, Boz, 6-2, 7-6; Liana Bates, Glac, def. Morgan Simkins, Hgt, 6-1, 6-1; Molly Crum, GFH, def. Halen McKenzie, Hgt, 6-0, 6-0; Renae Ockford, Boz, def. Morgan Woods, West, 6-2, 6-0; Hailey Blalack, Glacr, def. Dani Sheridan, MBS, 6-4, 4-6, 6-4; Courtney Collins, Boz, def. Jesse DiTimasso, Sky, 3-6, 7-5, 6-0; Brooke Satre, Cap, def. Sophie Dimich-Louvet, Sen, 6-4, 4-6, 6-3; Ellie Crum, GFH, def. Jaymi Wevers, Hgt, 6-0, 6-4.
Quarterfinals - Bates def. Fiscus, 6-2, 6-0; M. Crum def. Ockford, 6-3, 6-2; Blalack def. Collins 6-0, 6-0; E. Crum def. Satre, Cap, 6-0, 6-0.
First round - Meghan Crawford/Jillian Burgan, West, def. Haley Mortenson/Steph Ovrom, CMR, 6-1, 6-3; Michelle Carey/Taylor Simkins, Hgt, def. Margot Goldstein/Madi Henning, Boz, 6-2, 7-5; Lisa Lee/Kaylee Litle, Boz, def. Michelle Thomas/Lisa Woerlein, Hgt, 6-3, 6-2; Cami Mathison/Veronica Walton, Glac, def. Kristy Williams/Christine Moen, Sky, 6-2, 6-1; Hanley Caras/Shannon Hayes, MBS, def. Katie White/Lane O'Donnell, Boz, 6-1, 6-1; Katlyn Hacke/Amy Snipstead, Glac, def. Haley Swain/Katherine Cole, West, 6-2, 6-0; Natasha Pelensky/Sarah Mutch, Sen, def. Rachel Gorsuch/Katie Cerotzke, GFH, 6-4, 1-6, 6-3; Netti Dayhuff/Shannon Bosche, Boz, def. Shannon Grimes/Litahni Post-Bentham, Hgt, 6-2, 6-1.
Quarterfinals - Crawford/Burgan def. Carey/Simkins, 6-4, 6-1; Mathison/Walton, def. Lee/Litle, 6-4, 7-6; Caros/Hayes, def. Hacke/Snipstead, 7-6, 6-1; Dayhuff/Bosche def. Pelensky/Mutch, 6-1, 6-4.