PRATT — Strong doubles play enabled Hesston High’s boys tennis team to capture its fifth straight Central Kansas League championship on Monday.
Hesston, the No. 1-ranked team in Class 3-2-1A, outlasted Sterling 80-75, with Smoky Valley making a push with 70. Other scores were Kingman (63), Hoisington (53), Larned (41), Pratt (29), Haven (29) and Hillsboro (6).
The Swathers’ No. 1 doubles team of Grant Dahlsten and Garrett Roth went 3-0, defeating longtime rivals Trapper Bellah and Nick Reinert of Smoky Valley 6-2, 6-3 in the finals.
It was another Hesston-Smoky duel in the No. 2 doubles final with the Swathers’ Kendrick Weaver and Jorge Morales outlasting the Vikes’ Jarod Meier and Seth Yenni for the title, 7-6, 6-1.
What separated Hesston from the field was its depth as it received thirds from No. 1 singles player Daniel Holthus and No. 2 Mason Barber.
“I am obviously pleased and feel like we played pretty well all day,” Hesston coach Mark Dahlsten said. “As pleased as I am, we will have to be better on Saturday as our regional is loaded with really good entries. I know our boys will be ready.”
Both Hesston doubles teams cruised into the finals as they won their first two matches easily. Dahlsten said his No. 1 team “was really sharp,” and his No. 2 team got better with every match. The singles draw was tough as Sterling’s Kyler Comley took first, while Kingman’s Jason Messenger was strong at No. 2 singles to take first.