HESSTON — McPherson High’s boys tennis team beat the rain and a strong smaller-school field on Tuesday to win the Hesston Invitational.
The Bullpups’ consistency enabled them to pile up 132 points, scoring 36, 34, 32 and 30 among their four entrants.
Class 4A Abilene was second with 81. Class 3-2-1A’s No. 2 ranked team — Central Plains — was third with 79 and the top team in that class — host Hesston – was fourth with 75. There were 12 teams in all including Wichita Collegiate, which once again followed its usual strategy of not bringing all its top-line players.
“Despite all the weather alerts, we had a beautiful day of tennis,” MHS coach Tyler Brown said. “Hesston is always a fun-and-exciting meet for us. We get to see many of the teams that will be in our regional, so there is usually a lot on the line. Many of our guys came through getting either direct or indirect wins over teams that will be in our regional. Everyone made it to the semifinals which was a job well done.”
The doubles team of Nolan Schrader and Kento Aizawa came away with first place.
“Kento and Nolan may have had the win of the day beating a very talented Hesston doubles team of (Grant) Dahlsten and (Garrett) Roth (8-5 in the finals),” Brown said. “Most likely I would believe that Hesston team may win the 3-2-1A state doubles draw.”
The other MHS doubles team of Hadley Hageman and Kaden Stewart had a strong day as well, taking third.
“Hadley and Kaden had big wins over Buhler's No. 1 doubles and Central Plains’ No. 1 doubles,” Brown said.
Jarrod Nowak was second in singles, losing 8-2 in the finals to the likely Class 3-2-1A state champion Stratton Brown, who was second in the state last year and the odds-on favorite this year.
“Jarrod had a big win over Jacob Berven (of Abilene), which should secure him a No. 1 seed at regionals,” Brown said.
Andrew Snell took fourth in singles.
“Snell had a great win over (Kyler) Comely of Sterling, which was a very talented player as well,” Brown said. “It was a true team effort today and everyone's talent was on full display. It was fun to watch.”
Smoky Valley took ninth with 42 points, scoring 34 of its points in doubles. The No. 1 team of Trapper Bellah and Nick Reinert took ninth for the top finish.
• TEAM SCORES •
1. McPherson 132
2. Abilene, 81
3. Central Plains, 79
4. Hesston, 75
5. Trinity Catholic, 66
6. Buhler, 64
7. Sterling, 61
8. Conway Springs, 49
9. Smoky Valley, 42
10. Sacred Heart, 39
11. Collegiate, 31
12. Trinity Academy, 25