Canes, Lady Canes win; showdown with Allatoona next
by Staff Reports
Mar 28, 2012 | 1398 views | 0 0 comments | 10 10 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In its final tune-up before a showdown with one of its biggest rivals, the Cartersville tennis teams defeated host Pickens Tuesday with both the boys and girls teams earning 5-0 victories.

The Lady Purple Hurricanes got singles’ wins from Adrienne Green, Darian DeFrench and Maddie McGinnis. Green defeated Hannah Keeter 6-3, 6-0; DeFrench claimed victory over Whitney Clark, 6-4, 6-4; and McGinnis beat Peyton Heath 6-3, 6-0.

The Cartersville girls doubles teams allowed the Lady Dragons to win just five games, with the Lady Canes’ Ali Norwood and Mallory Walker winning 6-2, 6-1 against Brooke Smith and Kristen Garner, and Annabeth and Charleston Fox winning 6-2, 6-0 against Bryce Odom and Katie Tippens.

“All the lines were very strong, very consistent with their serves — which was very important,” coach Melissa Moore said of the Lady Purple Hurricanes, who won their fifth straight match and improved to 6-1 overall, 3-0 in Region 7-AAA. “They were very much able to read the opponent and [were] very good [in their] attack and [in their] placement at the net.”

Moore said her players have done well to apply in matches everything they have learned in practice.

“[There was] lots of movement and communication from my doubles team,” she continued. Of Norwood and Walker, Moore said the doubles team hit “fantastic deep shots to the line [and] great crosscourt shots.”

“They played well together. … Both of our doubles teams work very well together,” the coach said. “We’re doing very well.”

The Lady Canes, whose only loss was a 4-1 decision to Carrollton, aren’t the only Cartersville team playing well at the moment. The Canes (5-3, 3-0) have shaken off an 0-3 start to win their last several matches.

On Tuesday, the Cartersville boys continued their current streak as Trevor Gutkowski, Mitchell Scott and Tyler Hill picked up singles’ wins, while Will Garner and Jordan Eckert and Jacob Hoyt and Nathan Slocum held down the fort on the doubles’ side.

Gutkowski and Scott both cruised to 6-0, 6-0 victories over Sam Dotson and Josh Golden, respectively, and Hill won his first set against Sam Heath in similar fashion before winning 6-3 in the second set.

The doubles’ matches proved more competitive, but the Canes still didn’t drop a set. Garner and Eckert were 6-2, 6-3 victors in their match with Christian Stewart and Chris Dallas, and Hoyt and Slocum came through with a 6-4, 6-3 win to top Brandon Parris and Anthony Zecchio.

Like her girls team, Moore said the Cartersville boys also had great movement and great communication.

“Our seniors, Will Garner and Jordan Eckert, [hit] shots down the alley, [made] attacks at the net — just everything I want them to do,” Moore said. As for Hill, the No. 3 singles player, she said he was able “to take advantage” of Heath’s mistakes.

“He played him very skillfully,” she added. “He’s got much more confidence with that [going to the net].”

Cartersville faces region rival Allatoona in its next match Thursday. The Buccaneers are the seventh-ranked team in the Ga.PrepCountry.com coaches’ poll, while the Lady Buccaneers enter the match with double-digit wins.

“The kids are pretty pumped up for it. The kids are very competitive, and they’re ready for it. They’re ready for that competition,” Moore said of Thursday’s 4:30 p.m. match at Dellinger Park. “Our biggest thing is to just have our heads straight when we get there and not let anybody get inside [our heads]. The biggest thing is to start strong.

“They’re focused for this match. They know this is put up or shut up time,” she said. “They know that region depends on it and that’s one of their goals — they want to win region.”

Allatoona was 2-0 in the region heading into a matchup with Murray County Tuesday.

Cass takes two from Northwest Whitfield in region tennis

Cass controlled its match with host Northwest Whitfield Tuesday with boys winning 5-0 and the girls 4-1.

The Colonels swept all lines in their second-to-last sub-region match, while the girls suffered just one setback while getting wins from Hannah Delia (3-6, 7-5, 6-2), Aleigh Beard (6-1, 6-3), Ally Prewett and Mitzi Johnson (6-2, 6-1) and Morgan Mayton and Lauren Simonson (6-2, 6-2).

“We looked good. It’s looking really good,” coach Chris Allen said of his teams’ play.

Cass’ boys improved to 11-3 overall, 3-0 in Region 7A-AA, while the girls are now 9-4 overall and 2-1 in the sub-region.

The Colonels and Lady Colonels have a date with cross-county rival Woodland on Thursday at Hamilton Crossing Park, a meeting that will determine the sub-region’s No. 1 seed for the boys’ Region 7-AAAA tournament.

“I think it’s going to be neat to have somebody from Bartow [County] representing as the No. 1 seed [in the sub-region],” Allen said. “[We have a] good match coming up on Thursday. … The kids all know each other. They go to church together. They hang out with each other on the weekend.”

The girls’ match also will have implications for the sub-region’s top seed, with Cass neck and neck with Rome and Sequoyah.

“As far as the girls go, it looks like it may wind up being pretty tight on that side, too,” Allen said. “It may come down to a tiebreaker.”

Cass and Woodland are slated to begin their match at 4:30 p.m.

Wildcats 3, Sequoyah 2

Woodland’s netters tuned up for this week’s cross-county high school tennis rivalry match against Cass with a 3-2 victory over Sequoyah Tuesday evening, winning their fifth match in a row.

The Wildcats improved to 6-6 overall and 2-0 in Region 7A-AAAA with the win, which sets up a battle of two sub-region unbeatens in Bartow County and will help shape seeding when region play begins.

Head coach Kevin Tant noted Cass already has three region wins under its belt and Woodland must outplay Rome to claim a similar record against its sub-region foes.

The Wildcats, who defeated the Chiefs 3-2, garnered their victory with a perfect record at the singles line.

At the No. 1 singles line, Dustin Dodson defeated Tyler Zimmerman, 6-0, 6-0; Corey Tobin won at the No. 2 singles line over Reece Mantooth, 6-0, 6-0; and at the No. 3 singles line, Chase Still defeated Camden Rogers, 6-0, 6-0.

Tant said singles play has been steadily improving this season for Woodland and credited it to the attention to detail being given by the Wildcats.

“This is the first time we’ve not given up a match at all three singles lines,” he said. “They didn’t mess around. They were trying to play clean tennis, and accuracy and placement were more important than trying to overpower the ball.”

The Wildcats may have taken their losses in doubles play but they were not easy prey.

At the No. 1 doubles line, Brandon Rutledge and James Lester lost to Chris Jones and Austin Leslie, 3-6, 6-7 (tiebreaker) and 6-8.

“Brandon and James fought back in the second set but it was too late,” he said.

At the No. 2 doubles line, Bryce Webb and Grayson Roberts lost to Chris DeCorso and Dalton Brown, 6-7, 6-8, 2-6.

Woodland and Cass now play Thursday with post-season implications likely being felt after the matches at Hamilton Crossing. Play begins at 4:30 p.m.

Tant said with so much riding on the matches, play should be focused.

“We’re trying to travel to determine who’s top dog in our region,” he said. “We still have to play Rome, but if we win against Cass, it would put us in a good position.

“I’m really excited about playing Cass on Thursday.”

Lady Wildcats 3, Northwest Whitfield 0

Woodland couldn’t quite find the net in the first 40 minutes of its Region 7-AAAA girls soccer match Tuesday, but the Lady Wildcats came on in the second half, scoring three goals as host Northwest Whitfield struggled to corral their offense.

Destiny Woods, Hailie Parshall and Holly Miller provided all of the scoring while Stephanie Hicks and Brooke Hummel each handed out an assist.

Alicia Velasquez was stout in goal, helping shut out the Lady Bruins’ offense.

“I’m proud of the girls for responding in the second half and being rewarded for their efforts,” Woodland coach Kyle Morgan said.

The Lady Wildcats’ perseverance paid off in the form off a much-needed win as Woodland (6-6, 2-5) snapped a five-game skid in a tough region.

“It’s been a while since we actually won a match,” Morgan said.

Another formidable region opponent stands in the way of a third Lady Wildcat region win. Woodland hosts Johns Creek for senior night Thursday in a game slated to start at 8 p.m.

“They’re one of the better teams in our region,” Morgan added of the Gladiators.

Gordon Central 3, Lady Tigers 2

After more than 80 minutes of action — including two overtime periods — failed to separate visiting Adairsville and Gordon Central, the Region 7-AA crossover match went to penalty kicks.

At that moment, it’s anybody’s match, and the Lady Warriors prevailed in the shootout portion of the match, sending the Lady Tigers to a tough defeat.

“We played very well against a good team,” Adairsville assistant coach Lance Hall said. “When it gets to penalty kicks, it’s a crapshoot.”

“It was a great game,” he continued. “We were on the wrong side of the stick.”

Gordon Central scored in the fourth minute off a rebound.

Lady Tigers freshman Emily Sexauer took an assist from Blake Chagnon in the 21st minute and scored from the top of the box to even things at 1-1, which is where the score remained going into halftime.

Adairsville made it two unanswered goals when Cassidy Greene scored on a breakaway in the first minute of the second half to give the Lady Tigers a 2-1 lead.

The Lady Warriors scored an equalizer in the 48th minute, and neither scored in the next 30 or so minutes as the game stood at 2-2 at the end of regulation.

Adairsville fell to 6-4 overall. The Lady Tigers next play Thursday at 5 p.m. when they host sub-region foe Chattooga.

Sequoyah 3, Lady Wildcats 2

Woodland suffered through another match Tuesday that has been all to common this season as the Lady Wildcats fell 3-2 against Sequoyah in Region 7-AAAA girls tennis action.

It marked the fifth time this season Woodland has dropped a match by that score.

“We keep going down 3-2, 3-2, 3-2,” lamented Lady Wildcats coach Beth Heath.

Woodland managed victories at line 2 singles and line 2 doubles, with Veronica Munsey defeating Anna King 6-4, 3-6, 7-5 and Erin Hill and Bailee Smith defeating Sydney Webb and Nhi Dinh 6-2, 7-5.

The Lady Wildcats, however, couldn’t muster a win elsewhere, losing their other matches. Erin Marratta fell to Montana Gilbert, 4-6, 0-6; Tinsley Wiley lost to Madison Miller 2-6, 2-6; and Susy Beltran and LeArian Turner couldn’t Caroline Gessner and Rachel Weaver, dropping their match 0-6, 1-6.

“I was a little disappointed with my singles,” Heath acknowledged. “Erin was winning the match, and mentally she just kind of fell apart. I don’t know what happened.”

“I think a little of it has to do with the pressure of being a freshman playing No. 1 [singles].”

The coach said she caught bits and pieces of Wiley’s match and her No. 3 singles player told her afterward that she felt she played well.

“Honestly, I was paying a lot more attention to line 2 because it was such a marathon,” Heath said of Munsey’s 2 1/2-hour match. “Her match was very exciting, a lot of good points. Her serve was just incredible tonight. She was serving beautifully tonight.”

In regard to doubles’ play, the Lady Wildcat coach admitted she is still searching for consistency.

“I don’t know what to say about doubles’ teams. That’s where I’m hurting right now is finding a consistent doubles team that can win,” Heath said.

The coach praised the play of her line 2 doubles team, though, saying: “Erin and Bailee, once again, they played smart tennis.” While playing an overmatched opponent, she said, “They stayed focused. I was proud of them.”

Woodland (2-9, 0-3) faces off with region and county rival Cass Thursday at Hamilton Park in a 4:30 p.m. match, and Heath fully believes her team can play well.

“I have a lot more confidence in them than they do,” she said. “We’re gonna have to step it up.”