Northern, St. Clair tennis place in top 10 at states

Port Huron Northern poses for a photo at the Division 1 state tournament.

Port Huron Northern poses for a photo at the Division 1 state tournament.

The Blue Water Area has two top ten tennis teams in their respective divisions.

Port Huron Northern and St. Clair each drove away from their state tournaments looking back on a great ending to the season.

At the Division 1 tournament at Greater Midland Tennis Center the Huskies finished in ninth place out of 20 teams, also seeing four quarterfinals appearances from Northern players.

No. 1 singles player Chris Adams went the furthest for Northern as he fell in the semifinals to Steve Forman of Troy.

“The thing I like the most about (Adams) is his tenacity,” Northern head coach Chris Smith said. “He was always picking himself up and pumping himself up during the match.”

John Betrus reached the No. 2 singles quarterfinals, Nishaan Makin reached the No. 3 singles quarterfinals and Ben Walton/George Naguib reached the No. 4 doubles quarterfinals. Makim’s trip to the quarterfinals was a head-turner as he knocked out No. 4-seeded Sean Miller of Grosse Pointe South in the second round.

“(Makim is) a very, very good player and he started peaking at the right time this year,” Smith said. “I’m excited to see what him and John Betrus will do next year. I think they were playing their best tennis of the year at states.”

St. Clair impressed the field of 22 teams with a seventh place finish, one of the best finishes in program history.

“Gosh, this is only the second time our boys have been top ten,” St. Clair head coach Dave Clutts said. “You can’t help but to be happy with that.”

Eli Pinnoo reached the No. 2 singles quarterfinals, John Mason reached the quarterfinals in No. 3 singles and Ryan Marino/Chad Maben reached No. 4 doubles quarterfinals. Troy Distelrath also made a deep run in No. 4 singles, reaching the semifinals.

“Troy played great and had a great tournament – he’s been the first boy to reach semifinals since I’ve been there,” said Clutts, who’s in his 21st year with the team.

Yale, who finished the tournament on Friday with six points, had one duo reach the quarterfinals as Tommy Sanders/Ryan Meyers made a run in No. 2 doubles.