TERRE HAUTE —
Terre Haute South topped cross-town rival Terre Haute North 4-1 Tuesday afternoon in high school boys’ tennis at South. But as usual when the two county and conference rivals get together the final score doesn’t tell the whole story.
No. 7-ranked South had to win a tie-breaker at No. 3 singles and a three-setter at No. 2 doubles to earn its 11th victory of the season.
“We’re ranked high and I don’t know if North is even ranked, but they came out and pushed us. North is a good team,” South coach Bill Blankenbaker said.
“Bill has a nice team. He’s got two little powerhouses at one and two [singles], which kind of sets the tone for the match,” North coach Bob Denny said.
South’s Nathan Bogle and Krishon Kumar were straight set winners at No. 1 and No. 2 singles. Bogle topped North’s Andrew Farmer 6-0, 6-2 and Kumar won the No. 2 singles match 6-1, 6-0 over North’s Harry Williams.
“My No. 1 [Bogle] and No. 2 [Kumar] is pretty decisive. They’re very, very good one and two [singles players],” Blankenbaker said.
“I thought I played pretty well. North and South is always a big rivalry, no matter what [the records are]. It always somehow ends up close,” Bogle said.
South’s Scott Kellar gutted out a two-set win over Grant Potts. Kellar did not play in the South Invitational on Saturday due to a back injury and was in obvious pain in a 7-6 (7-5 tie-breaker), 6-1 victory.
“I felt a lot better today. I came out and played the best I could,” Kellar said.
Kellar just kept hitting the ball back to Potts in the middle of the court.
“My coach [Blankenbaker] told me to try to keep six straight balls in and let him make the mistake and that’s what I did. I just played consistent and he eventually missed,” Kellar said.
“Scott’s a very good player. It’s nice to have him in there. I think if we would have played him on Saturday, I don’t know if we would have been ready here. It was a good thing that we rested him,” Blankenbaker said.
North’s No. 1 doubles team of Keaton Akers and Justin Newton bounced back from a 1-6 loss in the first set to win the next two sets 6-3, 6-3 over South’s Trace Harruff and Reed Crawford.
“[Akers and Newton] started out very well at No. 1 doubles. I knew they were going to come back and at least compete and most likely win that match. Our No. 2 [doubles] we were right there, a point here, a point here and there made the difference, and we could have won that,” Denny said.
South’s No. 2 doublers team of Luke Yeagly and Matt Gonzalez topped North’s Lucas Davis and Luke Dugger 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.
“South has got a very nice team. We’re looking forward to going back to the drawing board and try to get [the Patriots] to play a little smarter. [The Patriots] played hard. I have no quam with how hard they played. We may see them over at the MIC this weekend or we’ll see them at the sectional,” Denny said.
Yes, South and North could potentially see one another again this week. The Vigo County teams are on the same side of the bracket in the MIC Tournament on Saturday at Ben Davis. South plays Lawrence North and North meets Center Grove at 9 a.m. Saturday at Ben Davis High School. If both win, they play in the second match.
And then, of course, there is the sectional. But round one goes to the Braves.
Terre Haute South 4, Terre Haute North 1
Singles — Nathan Bogle (S) def. Andrew Farmer (N) 6-0, 6-2; Kishon Kumar (S) def. Harry Williams (N) 6-1, 6-0; Scott Kellar (S) def. Grant Potts (N) 7-6 (7-5) 6-1.
Doubles — Keaton Akers-Justin Newton (N) def. Trace Harruff-Reed Crawford (S) 1-6, 6-3, 6-3; Luke Yeagley-Matt Gonzalez (S) def. Lucas Davis-Luke Dugger (N) 7-5, 4-6, 6-2.
Next — South (11-1) plays Lawrence North and North (3-5) plays Center Grove in the MIC Tournament at Ben Davis High School at 9 a.m. Saturday.