Behind two firsts and one third-place finish, the Norwalk Truckers won the 2013 Little Giants Tennis Doubles Invitational on Saturday.
Norwalk was first with 77 points, led by the winning first doubles team of Trevor Bowers and Harry Love and fourth doubles team of Collin Buckerstaff and Kyle Lang.
Bellevue was second with 64 points, followed by Anthony Wayne (59), Port Clinton (58) and Bowling Green (44). Fremont Ross’ “A” team was sixth with 28 points, followed by Huron (26) and Ross’ “B” team.
The Redmen got one first- and two third-place finishes. Seniors Tony Harper and Cody Henderson won all three matches at third doubles comfortably. They beat Bowling Green (6-2, 6-3), Port Clinton (6-0, 6-1) and Anthony Wayne (6-3, 6-3).
“I’m thrilled, I really am,” Bellevue coach Jim Picciuto said. “It shows how much of a team sport tennis is (because) our second and fourth doubles teams placed third. We have a lot of seniors that have been playing for four years. I’m pleased because we went up against some good teams and some bigger schools in Norwalk and Anthony Wayne.”
Anthony Wayne got two second- and one third-place finishes to finish a point ahead of the Port Clinton for third place. The Redskins got a first-place finish from their second doubles team of Matt Fillmore and Jeff Griffin.
Fillmore and Griffin had a bumpy road to victory but played well when it mattered most.
After defeating Anthony Wayne, 6-3, 6-0, the duo lost the first set to Bellevue, 4-6, before recovering to win the second, 6-4, and winning the tiebreaker, 10-8, to claim victory. In their win over Bowling Green in the final, Fillmore and Griffin won the first set in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (8) before cruising to victory in the second set, 6-0.
“They did very well,” Port Clinton coach Aaron Taylor said. “They played a strong mental game. They won a big tiebreaker in their second match and got back to playing their game and hitting their shots. They got themselves going mentally.”
Ross, which had to use two teams in the event because another school backed out at the last minute, got a fourth- and two fifth-place finishes from its “A” team.
Mason Sloma and Gaetan Brugger finished fourth at second-doubles, defeated the Ross “B” team in the first round before losing in heartbreaking fashion to Bowling Green, the eventual runner-up. The Bobcat duo of Justin Overhulse and Austin Ezzone needed two tiebreakers to defeat Sloma and Brugger, winning the first set, 7-6 (2), losing the second, 4-6 and winning the final tiebreaker, 10-6, to eek out the win.
“Mason and Gaetan did a great job today,” Ross coach Lisa Wolfe said. “I’m proud of the way they played. Everybody (on our team) probably could’ve done a little better (but) this is a tough tournament.”