Unbeaten Hammond launches its quest for a perfect season and a state championship today when its opens the SCISA playoffs at home against Region 2-3A rival Ben Lippen. Heathwood Hall, meanwhile, has a first-round home date with Wilson Hall.
The Skyhawks concluded the region season with a 13-0 dual-match record, 10-0 in the region. Hammond swept Ben Lippen in region play with two 9-0 shutout wins.
Hammond’s closest call this season came in a 5-4 win recently against Pinewood Prep, last season’s runner-up to Hilton Head Prep. The two Lowcountry powers square off in the first round today for the potential right to play at Hammond in the semifinals on Wednesday.
Individually, Hammond players have compiled impressive records in both singles (68-10) and double (32-7) so far. The Skyhawks’ regular starting singles lineup features freshman Ben Horst at No. 1 singles, sophomore Ira Usry at No. 2, seventh-grader Bill Horst at No. 3, sophomore Ted Lydon at No. 4, sophomore Will Besley at No. 5 and sophomore William Greenberg at No. 6.
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Ben Horst is 13-0 and Bill Horst 12-0 in singles to date, and the brothers are 8-0 in doubles. Usry is 7-4 in singles, 5-3 in doubles. Lydon is 11-2 in singles, 8-3 in doubles. Besley is 12-1 in singles, 6-2 in doubles. Greenberg is 10-3 in singles, 6-2 in doubles.
Heathwood Hall enters postseason play at 9-2 with the lone blemishes coming in two 6-3 setbacks against Hammond. The Highlanders beat Wilson Hall 5-4 and 8-1 during the regular season.
Baker West, Marshall Sanford , John Burg, Charles Williamson, Will Becker and Daniel Settana are the usual HH singles starters. Sanford has two singles wins against Hammond’s Usry on the books.