The sunlight started to fade at Newman Tennis Center on April 30, and the final girls match of the GISA AAA season was still going.
The court lights flickered on, and players from Stratford and Augusta Prep gathered behind their respective teammates to urge them on.
In the end, the Cavaliers prevailed 3-2 after Kemper Peacock wrapped up her No. 3 singles match with a 12-10 win in the second set.
The state title was nice, but Prep coach Chris Dickson almost seemed more excited about the team's 3-2 semifinal win against Deerfield-Windsor, which had beaten the Cavaliers in the state final the past two seasons.
"That was a big win, just to get the monkey off the back," Dickson said. "It was really good to send them home."
Two seasons ago, Deerfield-Windsor won easily, 5-0.
Last year, the Cavaliers came closer, losing 3-2 with No. 3 singles the sway match then, too.
Dickson returned four starters from last year's squad, and picked up two freshmen and a sophomore who played big roles.
It was just the right mix for the Cavaliers to break through, with the help of Peacock's final closeout.
"That was the match to watch," Peacock said.
Dickson's boys team lost to Stratford Academy 4-1 in the final after surviving its semifinal match with Southland.
Dickson thought his team had a chance to be competitive with Stratford, but the matches he thought could go the Cavaliers' way didn't.
"They were really a good team," Dickson said. "They were really young too. We'll probably have to deal with them for a couple years, which is unfortunate."
Dickson felt he had a lock on the point at No. 2 singles and got it.
The others fell the other way.
"I thought we were pretty well matched with them," he said.
"I thought we had a good shot."
Knox takes medalist honors
Augusta Prep senior Lee Knox fired a 68 to win medalist honors at the GISA Class AAA state golf tournament at Doublegate Golf and Country Club in Albany.
The Cavaliers finished third as a team with a score of 312, four shots out of a playoff for first. Deerfield-Windsor eventually prevailed.
Knox capped off his senior year in style.
The University of Alabama signee shot 78 in 2007, and the Cavaliers finished 13 shots out of first. Augusta Prep coach Jeff Knox, Lee's father, said the weather made scoring tough early, but Lee battled back. He birdied five of his last 12 holes, including the last two.
"When the rain and the wind left, he settled down," Jeff said. "It was a good finish."
Lee's playing schedule will remain busy up until he leaves for Tuscaloosa. He plans to play in the Rice Planters Amateur in Mount Pleasant, S.C., in July. He also expects to play in the Dogwood Invitational and June's Georgia State Junior.
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