High School Sports

Three Midlands teams rate Final Four spots in 4A tennis

Unbeaten Spring Valley, Lexington and Irmo Final Four status in Class 4A state boys tennis status with third-round wins on Tuesday.

The headline story Friday at the Lexington County Tennis Complex is the Lexington-Irmo is the showdown in the Class 4A Lower State championship match. Undefeated Spring Valley, meanwhile, will square off against Spartanburg in the 4A Upper stats title match.

The state championship matches follow on Saturday at LCTC.

Irmo (17-4) made the big news on Tuesday, eliminating two-time defending state champion West Florence with a 4-2 win. The Yellow Jackets faltered at No. 1 and No. 2 singles, but won everywhere else. Irmo’s path to its first Final Four appearance since 2001, which is also the last year the Jackets won a state championship, was paved by singles wins from Britton Bent (No. 3), Jasdeep Guram (No. 4) and Reid Baird (No. 5) and a clinching doubles triumph by the team of Drew Wescott and Clint Butler. All of the Jackets wins were fairly decisive.

Lexington (20-1) rolled to the Final Four for the eight year in a row by downing Summerville 5-1 on Tuesday. The only change is the Wildcats are in the Lower State bracket for the first time. The only stumble along the way was a loss by Brian Lim at No. 5 singles. Gordon Lucas, Ross Sons, Parker Adkins and William Lightle were Lexington’s singles winners, and the doubles team of Trey Swearingen and Grayson Hill also prevailed.

Lexington beat Irmo twice on the way to winning the Region 5-4A champions, both times by 6-0 counts. Lucas (15-0) and Adkins (16-0) enter the LS title match with untarnished individual records. Otherwise Sons is 12-2, Lightle is 16-1 and Lim is 8-2 after taking over the No. 5 singles post midway through the season. Swearingen and Hill stand at 7-0 as a team in doubles. Swearingen has an 16-1 overall record card singles and doubles. Lexington players have a combined 116-7 individual record this spring - 97-6 in singles matches, 19-1 in doubles.

Irmo’s Baird is 3-0 in playoff singles matches and Guram is 2-0. Wescott is 3-0 in doubles, 2-0 while paired with Hill.

Spring Valley (18-0) blew by Boiling Springs 6-0 on Tuesday to advance to the Upper State final. The Vikings lost to West Florence in the Lower State finale last season. The obvious SV goal is to earn its first state title shot in since 2001 by beating Spartanburg on Friday. The Vikings than can focus on claiming its first 4A championship since 1982.

With the sweep against Boiling Springs, every Vikings starter embellished already impressive individual resumes. Ashkon Babaee upped his record to 15-4, Brent Lett is now 19-0, Hampton Drake stands at 11-3, Kenan Sakarcan is 15-2 and Connor Burke is 17-2. Joe Cunningham and Trey Finch are 15-0 in doubles.

Spring Valley players have a combined 121-16 individual record this season – 97-14 in singles, 24-2 in doubles. The individual numbers include performances at a spring break tournament at Pawleys Island.