ORIGINALLY WRITTEN DON RATZLAFF
Hillsboro’s split team finished third and eighth at the eight-school Trojan Tennis Invitational Thursday at the Sports Complex.
The Hillsboro “Gold” team finished with 38 team points to trail only Conway Springs, the defending state champions, with 53 points and second-place Smoky Valley with 50.
Chapman finished fourth with 37 points, followed by Hutchinson Trinity with 36, Circle 35, Nickerson 29 and Hillsboro “Red” 2.
The Hillsboro Gold team secured three third-place finishes.
Kyle Kroeker and Macy Fadenrecht, playing No. 1 doubles, won their opening match to Clardy and Maxwell of Nickerson 8-1, then lost to eventual champions Kahler and Talbot of Smoky Valley 4-8 in the semifinals before coming back to beat Thibault and Cordel of Hutchinson Trinity 8-2 in the third-place match.
Hillsboro Gold’s No. 2 doubles team placed third also. Peter Fast and Ricky Johnson defeated Butler and Reed of Circle 8-2 in the opening round, lost a heartbreaker to Myers and Hawk of Smoky Valley in the semifinals 8-7 (8-6), then came back to beat Devlin and Love of Conway Springs 8-5.
Caleb Barkman placed third in No. 2 singles by beating Seth Mechem of Circle 8-5 in his opening match, losing to Derek Rockwell of Nickerson 4-8 in the semifinals and then beating Jerry Kelsey of Smoky Valley 8-5 in the third-place match.
Robert Jost placed seventh in No. 1 singles. He lost to Shawn Sullivan of Nickerson in the opening round, 7-8 (6-8), then lost another close match to Thomas DeWitt of Smoky Valley in the consolation bracket 7-8 (4-7) before defeating Hillsboro Red’s Ben Heyen 8-1 in the seventh-place match.
Heyen had lost to Scott Matzen of Conway Springs 1-8 in his opening match and to Thomas Harris of Hutchinson Trinity 0-8 before squaring off against Jost.
In No. 2 singles, Hillsboro Red’s Ben Bosworth lost to Cody Kester 1-8, to Lance Small of Hutchinson Trinity 0-8 and to Mechem 1-8.
Hillsboro Red scored its two points in No. 2 doubles, where Mark Prieb and Matthew Brown lost to Hawk and Myers of Smoky Valley 1-8 and Butler and Reed of Circle 1-8 before taking seventh place on a bye.
Smoky Valley-Hillsboro placed fourth in a tough eight-school field at the Smoky Valley Invitational on Tuesday, April 5, in Lindsborg.
The Trojans scored 15 team points, which placed them behind Wichita Collegiate with 46, Smoky Valley 36 and Hesston 35. Placing behind the Trojans were Concordia with 14, Nickerson 13, Pratt 10 and Abilene 3.
In doubles, Hillsboro’s Kyle Kroeker and Macy Fadenrecht placed sixth. They defeated Fraser and Copple of Concordia 8-2, lost to Moore and Dunn of Collegiate 6-8, defeated Holle and Jansen of Hesston 8-3 lost to Briggeman and Wenrich of Pratt 3-8.
The Trojan duo of Peter Fast and Ricky Johnson placed eighth. They defeated Lervold and Deal of Concordia 8-5, lost to Leichty and Mason of Hesston 3-6, lost to Briggeman and Wenrich of Pratt 2-8 and lost to Holle and Jansen of Hesston 2-8.
In singles, Hillsboro’s Robert Jost lost to Brett Liechty of Hesston 4-6, defeated Shawn Scanlan of Abilene 8-0 and then lost to Jake Peterson of Smoky Valley 2-8 to finish 10th.
Caleb Barkman lost to Shawn Sullivan of Nickerson 0-8, Amos Christner of Abilene 0-8 and Andrew Taylor of Pratt 6-8.
Coming-Hillsboro will compete in the Circle Invitational on Thursday. Matches begin at 3 p.m.