Both squads to host home playoff game
By Greg Sullivan
Cedar Shoals High School's tennis squads made the trip down to Madison on Thursday with intentions of teaching the Dogs and Lady Dogs a lesson on their home court, but the home teams were up to the challenge.
Both the boys and girls teams defeated their Jaguar opponents 4-1, each only dropping their first singles matches.
Daniel Smith, Logan Plumly, Skip Lewan and Brett Richardson, along with Dillon Moore and Blake Brand all got wins for the Dogs against Cedar Shoals.
Picking up wins for the Lady Dogs were Lauren Lindsey, Mary Helen Trulock, Victoria Woodruff and Emily Jones, along with Layne Jackson and Katherine Cooper.
Morgan County's teams struggled the weekend before Thursday's win, with both teams losing to Spalding. The boys team's loss was a tough 3-2 decision which served as motivation against the Athens school Thursday.
The teams look to build on momentum from Thursday's wins over Class AAAA Cedar Shoals as they head into their biggest week of the year.
Morgan County hosted rival Greene County on Tuesday. The team will then head to East Jackson for the region tournament where both the boys and girls will be number two seeds in their half of the bracket.
"We will have to work very hard this week in practice in order to be ready for the playoffs," said Morgan County Head Coach Jim Fowler. "Our teams will have to play focused, fundamental tennis to advance past the first round of the region tournament."
"I hope our teams take the positive momentum from their Cedar Shoals wins and continue to play well."
By Greg Sullivan
These Tigers were better than the Greene County Tigers the Dogs had seen the week before, and if you believe in omens this one looked early on like it could be going in the wrong direction last Wednesday in Madison.
Washington-Wilkes got a lead-off solo homer to start things off against Morgan County pitcher Clay Duvall en route to a three-run first inning, leaving the Dogs to play catch up.
But Duvall showed something that may prove to be helpful to the Dogs in the post-season; perseverance. And his teammates followed suit.
"I tried to pitch my hardest," said Duvall. "I knew this was a huge region game. I knew we had to win."
After a rocky first inning where he gave up three earned runs, Duvall gave up no more earned runs for the remainder of the game on his way to the win he was looking for, and it was a grueling 7-inning complete game win, which is about as hard-earned as it gets at the high school level.
After putting up two runs in the first inning and one in the second, the Dogs' offense had things evened up going into the bottom of the third inning. And in the bottom of the third the Dogs wrestled away control of the game.
With two outs in the third and two runners on, the Dogs' Kyle Burden made up his mind to not let Wilkes find an easy way out of the inning.
Burden connected with a pitch and sent the ball out beside the telephone pole behind the left field fence.
"I just wanted to get a hit," said Burden. "It felt good."
He did get a hit; a three-run homer. The blast ignited a big inning for the Dogs, who would go on to get two more runs with two outs in the inning on their way to posting five runs in the third. With the big third inning behind them the Dogs went on to an 8-6 win in the crucial region match-up.
By Greg Sullivan
The Lady Pups turned their week around Friday pulling out a 1-0 win at GMC in a co-ed game.
"The boys and girls teams were a little timid about playing together, but they did really well," said Lady Pup coach Katie Greenway. "Stephanie Pincus and Anne Miller played exceptionally well for us on defense."
The Lady Pups had a couple of close games earlier in the week. They lost 2-1 last Monday when they hosted St. Joseph's. Griffin Gardner scored the lone goal for the team.
The team also fell to St. Joseph's on Wednesday, this time on the road, falling 4-2. The Lady Pups got a goal from Griffin Gardner and scored another on a ball that was last touched by St. Joseph's.
The girls play their final game of the season on Wednesday, April 16 when they host GMC. The team has the other half of their boys and girls teams taking on GMC for the game. The team hopes to be even more adjusted to the co-ed concept with the second such game of the season.
By Greg Sullivan
The Soccer Pups had a good week this past week, defeating St. Joseph's 1-0 on Wednesday and winning a co-ed match at GMC.
"We played an excellent defensive game while again struggling on offense," said Pups coach Mike House of the St. Joseph's win. "We couldn't find the net offensively."
"Our guys must learn to stay down on the ball to help direct the ball on goal," House added. "Our shot selection is getting better, although it would be nice to get more shots on goal."
"I'm a firm believer the more shots you take, the more chances you will have to come out on top."
Frank DuBose scored the lone goal for the Dogs in the win. House said it was Damien Anderson who led the defensive effort for his team. Other defensive standouts were Campbell Harrison, Guy Taylor, Daniel Cochran and Jake Miles, House said.
Miles recorded his second shut out of the season.
The team, along with the Lady Pups, won a co-ed match 1-0 at GMC on Friday. The Pups and Lady Pups will have another co-ed match with GMC on Wednesday, this time at home.
"GMC has played co-ed all year, while that was our first game situation," House said. "To see our team chemistry at work made it a fun experience for all."
The Pups and Lady Pups hope to get another win Wednesday in the season finale.
By Greg Sullivan
Friday was a good day for the Pups and Lady Pups when they took the courts in Madison for their last tennis matches of the season.
The teams dominated Winder-Barrow on what was a picture-perfect afternoon for tennis.
The girls wiped out their competition at both singles and doubles. Ansley Jones won at number one singles 8-1, Peyton Nunn took number two 8-1 and Lily Arienzo took number three 8-0.
Sarah Jones and Maggie Brown took number one doubles 8-2. While Gabrielle Wyatt and Alex Malone took number two doubles, winning 8-1.
Amelia Collier had no problem in an exhibition singles match, winning 8-1.
Meanwhile, the boys also found success on the court.
Nathan Neuhart won first singles 8-3, Sutton Trulock took second singles and Chan Courchaine won in the three slot.
At doubles, the boys just missed sweeping Winder-Barrow as Sam Cooper and Drew McHugh fell in a close tie-breaker, 10-8, at first doubles. Corey Hopson and Caleb Plumley won second doubles 8-4 in a tie-breaker.
Garrett Gardner and Matt Vill won an exhibition match 8-0.