WICHITA — The Hesston High School boys’ tennis team claimed four medals and a fourth-place team finish Saturday at the Class 3-2-1A state tournament at the Ralph Wulz Riverside Tennis Center in Wichita.
Kansas City Christian won the team title with 32 points, followed by Central Plains with 31. Hesston and Sterling tied at 29, but Sterling was awarded the plaque on tie-breaker. Wichita Independent was fifth with 22 points.
“We were very close to winning the whole thing as the team race was incredibly tight,” Hesston coach Mark Dahlsten said. “Just a few points in some of the close matches made the difference between fourth and first for any of the four teams in the top four. It was an exciting tournament and I am proud of our boys for the efforts that they gave. We are the only school to have all four entries earn medals at the state tournament which is quite an accomplishment.”
Hesston’s Logan Gamble finished sixth in singles. Gamble opened the day with a 9-4 win over Caleb Kern of Kansas City Christian in the consolation quarterfinals. In the consolation semifinals, Gamble downed Grayson Rader of Bishop Seabury Academy 9-3. In the consolation finals, Gamble fell to Josiah Evans of Scott Community 9-7.
Gamble, a sophomore, ends the season 26-10.
Freshman Rhain Isaac finished 12th. After a 9-1 loss to Rader in the consolation quarterfinals, Isaac fell to Kern 9-4 in the consolation semifinals. In the 11th-place match, Isaac fell to Luke Bellar of Conway Springs 9-6. Isaac finishes the season 16-15.
In doubles play, Jorge Morales and Jeb Carlson finished sixth. Morales and Carlson opened play with a win over 9-3 Cody Jones and Trenton Jones of Conway Springs in the consolation quarterfinals. In the consolation semifinals, Morales and Carlson downed Joshua Koester and Peyton Winter of Conway Springs 9-5. In the consolation finals, Morales and Carlson fell to Charlie Skidmore and Trace Leners of Salina Sacred Heart 9-8 (7-4).
Morales, a senior, and Carlson, a sophomore, end the season 22-11.
Senior Daniel Casimir and junior Isaac Decker finished play in 11th place. Casimir and Decker fell to Koester and Winter of Conway Springs x-x in the consolation quarterfinals. In the consolation semifinals, Casimir and Decker lost to Cody Jones and Trenton Jones of Conway Springs 9-7. In the 11th-place match, Casimir and Decker downed Alex Maxwell and Dalton Zelenka of Ellsworth 9-8 (7-2).
Casimir and Decker finish the season 16-14.
“I know we shouldn’t feel bad about tying for third, but to come so close to winning the whole thing and falling just short is tough,” Dahlsten said. “Our kids played hard in very tough conditions all weekend and we were literally just a few key points from bringing home the first-place trophy. It was that tight in the team race. I am so proud of the efforts the kids gave all year and although we are disappointed, we should feel very good about our season.”
Team scores — Kansas City Christian 32, Central Plains 31, Sterling 29 (won tiebreaker for third), Hesston 29, Wichita Independent 22, Conway Springs 20, Maranatha Christian 17, Scott Community 14, Ellsworth 13, Salina Sacred Heart 11, Bishop Seabury Academy 9, Colby 7, Haven 2, Hutchinson Trinity 1, Trego Community 1, Cimarron 0, Meade 0.