High School Sports

Final four tennis spots up for grabs

Final four spots in the boys tennis playoffs in three classifications are up for grabs on Tuesday.

Spring Valley, Lexington and Irmo are still in the hunt in Class 4A. Spring Valley takes on Boiling Spring at home in third round action tomorrow at 5 p.m., while Irmo and Lexington are on the road in the Lower State.

Spring Valley is 17-0 after dispatching Dorman 4-2 in second-round action last week. The Vikings received singles win from eighth-grader Brent Lett (18-0) at No. 2, Hampton Drake at No. 4 and Connor Burke (16-2) at No. 5 against the game Cavaliers. A doubles win by Joe Cunningham and Trey Finch clinched the verdict. The Cunningham-Finch duo is 14-0.

Lexington (19-1) has blanked White Knoll and Stratford in their first-ever Lower State appearances. Gordon Lucas (14-0), Ross Sons (11-2), Parker Adkins (15-0), William Lightle (15-1) and Brian Lim (8-1) all had singles sweeps, while Trey Swearingen had two wins at doubles – teaming up with Scott Graves vs. White Knoll and Grayson Hill vs. Stratford. Swearingen, who is 8-1 in singles this season, is 6-0 when teamed up with Hill.

The Wildcats have lost only to Spring Valley. Lexington’s singles lineup has produced a 93-5 record to date and various duos have combined for an 18-1 doubles mark. The playoff road take the ‘Cats to Summerville in the third round. Lexington last failed to make the final four cut in 1999.

Irmo (16-4) advanced to the third round by breezing by Fort Dorchester 6-0 and nipping traditionally tough Wando 4-3 last week. The Wando match was secured with a win by Travis and Paul Reed at the rarely needed No. 1 doubles spot. The other Yellow Jackets winners were Paul Reed at No. 2 singles, Jasdeep Durham at No. 4 singles and Reid Baird at No. 5 singles. Paul Reed and Baird are the only two Irmo players were 2-0 playoff records. Baird was a winner at No. 3 singles vs. Fort Dorchester.

The Yellow Jackets must beat two-time defending 4A champion West Florence on the Knights’ home courts to reach to LS championship match. Irmo hasn’t made it past the third round since winning the state championship in 2001.

Chapin and Camden have second-round 3A on tap. Chapin (15-1) hosts Riverside in the Upper State bracket, while Camden (18-1) travels to face South Aiken in the Lower State.

Chapin (15-1) lost only to 4A Irmo during the regular season, and breezed by Clinton 6-0 in the first round of the Upper State bracket last week. The singles lineup of sophomore Kyle Koch (15-0 at No. 1), sophomore Alex Wallace (12-3 at No. 2), eighth-grader Jeffrey Koch (11-4 at No. 3), junior Robert Hinson (13-2 at No. 4) and junior Sean McCawley (12-3 at No. 5) has been outstanding all season. Eight-grader Sean Koch and sophomore Andrew Hill are 10-1 in doubles.

Camden is rolling at 15-1, and opened the playoffs with a leisurely 6-0 win against Airport. The Bulldogs highlight so far was a split of two matches against 4A Irmo. Camden rebounded from a 4-2 loss to beat the Yellow Jackets 4-2 in the rematch thanks to singles wins by Josh Cook (No. 1), Cauthen Tiller (No. 2), Jo Jo Tiller (No. 3) and Will Kornagey (No. 4). Jo Jo Tiller and Kornagey avenged the losses they suffered in the first match.

Cook and Tiller have yet to falter this season.

Region 3-2A champion Newberry has a third-round 2A Upper State trip on tap to Greenwood to face old region rival Emerald. With the Vikings now conveniently situated in Region 1, the Bulldogs went 10-0 on the way to the Region 3 championship and stand at 14-3 overall with two of the losses coming against 3A powerhouse Chapin.

Jay Bethea (No. 1), Jeff Kiser (No. 2), Dan Robertson (No. 3), Rhys Lewis (No. 4) and Jarell Baxter (No. 5) all had singles wins in the Bulldogs 6-0 first-round win over Columbia, while the doubles team of Matthew Smith and Laquentis Praylow did not have to take the court against the Capitals.

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