BY CHUCK VANDENBERG
FAIRFIELD – Fort Madison High School named two conference champions in boys tennis action Monday.
Second-seeded Sam Avery knocked off Elijah Parr of Fairfield 6-4, 7-6 (7-4 tiebreaker) in the first-round No. 3 singles action Monday morning. Then Avery went up against the top-seeded Gaven Haner of Keokuk. Avery took the first 7-5 and then won the second set 6-2 to take the title.
At No. 4 singles Austin Krueger, seeded third in the bracket, downed second-seed Logan Williams of Fairfield 6-4, 6-2 before going up against Keokuk’s top-seeded Peyton Skender. Krueger took the first set 6-4 and dropped the second set 2-6 before going into a marathon tiebreaker.
“Krueger came from behind in that final set, he was down 1-5 and then started to catch up at 5-8 and then battled to a 9-9 tie and just kept working for the victory,” Hogan said.
“He had good control of the points. There was good serving from both Sam and Austin.”
He said all the teams were pretty evenly matched at the tournament and districts start on Thursday in North Scott starting at 8:30 a.m.
Tim Shin had the next highest finish for the Hounds when he took 3rd place at No. 6 singles. Shin lost to Nick Sandeen of Mt. Pleasant 6-0, 6-4, but came back with an 8-3 win over Gabe Desseo of Fairfield 8-3. Consolation brackets were played first to 8 by two.
At No. 1 singles Dante Seaney took fourth place after a loss to Ben Zihlman of Mt. Pleasant, the eventual champion, and Navin Martin of Fairfield.
Johnny Hernandez also took a fourth-place finish at No. 2 singles. Hernandez lost to Keokuk’s Dylon Hoewing 6-4 5-7 (9-11) and then fell to Gannon Courtright of Fairfield 8-5 in the consolation for 3rd place.
At No. 5 singles, Conrad Hellman finished fourth when he fell to Corbin Broeker of Mt. Pleasant 6-2, 6-0 and then lost to Fairfield’s Jarod Willmon 8-1.
In doubles action, Seaney and Hernandez took fourth in No. 1 doubles losing to Martin and Courtright 4-6, 6-2 6-10 in the tiebreaker. and then fell to Reade Reiter and Haner of Keokuk 8-2 in the match for 3rd place.
Avery and Krueger battled back from a 0-6 spanking in the first set to win 6-2 in the second set against Hoewing and Gabe Stice and won the tiebreaker 10-4 to advance to the championship match against Logan Williams and Elijah Parr who won 6-2, 6-4 for the No. 2 doubles title.
Hellman and Shinn lost a 7-4 tiebreaker in the second against Broeker and Jason Hoyle and were moved to the consolation bracket where they defeated Willmon and Dezzeo 8-3 for 3rd place.
Keokuk and Mt. Pleasant tied in the team scoring with 17 points each, while Fort Madison and Fairfield tied for 3rd with 10 points apiece.