Not unexpectedly, Columbia County tennis teams are already making a racket in the postseason, and Wednesday was a good day.
The Lakeside High School Lady Panthers, the defending Georgia High School Association Class AAAAA state champions, and the Lakeside boys team both entered the Region 2-AAAAA one-day tournament unbeaten (14-0) and would leave the same way, defending their 2013 region titles with 3-0 finals wins over Greenbrier.
Both Lakeside and Greenbrier will play host in the first round of the state playoffs, which have to be completed by Thursday. Both Evans’ squads also advanced with third-place finishes and will start their state competition on the road.
Lakeside’s teams have been dominant throughout the season and this could be a year in which they bring home two state titles.
While the Panthers were on the road at Macon, Ga., the Augusta Prep Day School Lady Cavaliers were getting the job done down the road at the Newman Tennis Center, winning the Georgia Independent School Association Region 4-AAA championship. The Cavaliers’ boys team came in a hair behind the girls, finishing as the region runners-up.
Unlike the public schools where just teams qualify, in GISA, individuals and doubles teams play for their own championships, too.
Junior Brooke Stevens qualified and will be vying for her fourth consecutive singles title after starting her run as an eighth-grader. Joining Stevens will be Sophie Pollak. Both girls doubles teams advanced to the state competition after the No. 1 team of Ruthie Owen and Savina Patheja outlasted the school’s No. 2 doubles team of Brooke Arnold and Ana Harvin in the final. On the boys’ side, the doubles team of Peter Fechter and Phelps Hunnicut moved on to the state competition, which will be April 29 at the Newman Tennis Center.
Congratulations go out to Prep first-year head coach Ryan Kho, who was named the GISA Region 4-AAA Girls Coach of the Year.
Rain delayed the opening of the Region 2-AAAAA Track meet in Warner Robins, Ga. on Tuesday, so preliminary races and field events were held Wednesday with final races set for Thursday.
The top four finishers in each event qualify for the sectional
competition at Loganville on Saturday.
In girls’ field events, discus and shot put were the only ones in which county teams did not send at least one representative to sectionals.
Girls’ team scores after the first day had Greenbrier in second with 54.5 points, 4.5 points behind Northside, Warner Robins.
For the boys, Grovetown’s Rudy Valentine won the long jump (20-02) and was in the triple jump (40-10.50) while Greenbrier’s Warren Coombs was second in the triple jump (40-11.50). Greenbrier advanced two in the pole vault; Spencer Bongiovi finishing second (10-06) and Michael Furman taking fourth (9-06).
After a day of field events, the Lakeside boys were sitting in fifth place with 35 points, 12.5 points behind leader Warner Robins.