Wildcats edged out by Panthers in semi-state

By JONATHAN SAXON
jsaxon@dcherald.com

JASPER — It came down to one final court in Saturday's  semi-state tennis match. The Wildcats won both doubles matches, but lost on the first two singles courts before it came down to the three singles match. Grant Levy put in a solid performance in his first set against Jordan Wilson, which he took 6-3. But Wilson fought back to take the next two 6-2, 6-0 as Reitz topped the Wildcats 3-2.

"I jumped out early. You want to win that every time, especially for the team," said Levy. "When you're the last match on and it's tied, you want to be that guy who can step up for the team. He stepped up his game in the last two sets. He adjusted to what I was doing, and I didn't adjust back."

Wildcats coach Scott Yarbrough thought Levy, as well as the rest of the singles line up, got off to good starts and followed the plan to play extended sets and test the Panthers' endurance. In the end Reitz's singles players where able to catch fire as the matches went on, toughing out the three sets they needed to move on to the state quarterfinals.

"We didn't get bliztkrieged right out," he said. "We didn't know if we would be leading any matches, but what we didn't want is guys just to jump on us. With tennis momentum is an important thing. Sometimes you lose that momentum and it's tough to get it back. I thought Grant played a great first set, then drops that first game and gives the other kid a little (life). It just felt like the other kid gained a little momentum at that time. I think he was a little nervous and tight."

Yarbrough was proud of what his team was able to accomplish this season. He like how they responded to the competition on their schedule, and can't wait to get back on the court with his boys next season.

"You can never be disappointed going to semi-state," he said. "The one thing our schedule did this year is prepare us for this. From that standpoint I told the kids it's a good season. We return a lot of these guys, it'll be interesting to see what we do between now and next year."




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