THE JEFFERSON tennis team made sure its long trek to Northwest Georgia Tuesday wasn’t in vain.
The Dragons (7-6) downed Calhoun 3-2 in the first round of the state tournament to advance to the Sweet 16. Jefferson got victories from Zach Bost at no. 1 singles (6-0, 6-1), Gage Thompson at no. 2 singles (6-0, 6-1) and the no. 2 doubles duo of Austin Pratt and Brandon Clabo (5-7, 6-4, 7-5).
“Our kids played great today,” Jefferson coach Mike Paul said. “Zach and Gage took care of their business and we had a good match at no. 2 doubles.”
Pratt and Clabo got up 5-2 in the first set in that match before dropping it 7-5. The pair, however, rallied to win the second and third set to help send the Dragons to the second round of state. Paul noted the vocal support Pratt and Clabo received in the drama-filled win.
“It was just a great match to watch,” Paul said. “I couldn’t be prouder of these kids.”
Jefferson will play either Decatur at home Tuesday at 4 p.m. in the Sweet 16.
Jefferson qualified for the state tournament by beating East Hall 3-0 Thursday in the open ing round of the region tournament at North Oconee.
Bost and Thompson both won their matches 6-0, 6-0 while Jordan Tyler and Jackson Howard delivered a 6-0, 6-1 victory in doubles play.
The Dragons lost to North Oconee 3-0 in the second round but rebounded with a 3-1 victory over Hart County in the third-fourth place match to earn the no. 3 seed. Bost and Thompson both won 6-0, 6-0 in singles’ action while Tyler and Howard prevailed 6-2, 6-1 in doubles action.
While Jefferson’s boys punched their ticket to the Sweet 16 Tuesday, the girls’ team fell short at state with a 3-1 opening round loss to Armuchee.
Jefferson received its lone win from Abi Muesse, who won 7-5, 6-1 at no. 3 singles. Taylor Bost lost 6-0, 6-0 at no. 1 singles. Tristan McGarity fell 6-4, 1-6, 1-6 at no. 2 singles. Chelsea Runkel and Amanda Burgamy lost 6-4, 6-3 at no. 1 doubles.
“I can’t take anything away from the girls,” Paul said. “They played really hard and lost to a really good team.”
Jefferson’s girls qualified for state with a 3-0 opening-round victory over Dawson County at the region tournament Thursday at North Oconee.
Bost (6-0, 6-0), McGarity (6-1, 6-3) and Muesse (6-0, 6-0) all won in singles play to lead the Lady Dragons.
The Lady Dragons lost in the semifinals to North Oconee 3-0 but rebounded in the third-fourth place match against Hart County to earn the no. 3 seed. Bost (6-1, 6-3), and McGarity (6-0, 6-3) won in singles play while the doubles tandem of Burgamy and Runkel won 4-6, 6-4, 6-2.