DODGE CITY— Grant Harris won the opening round of the singles bracket as the Panther tennis team placed third out of eight teams at Thursday’s Boot Hill Invitational.
Harris, who was also battling some illness, was victorious in his opening match against Garden City’s Isaac Silva in an 8-0 shutout. He went on to defeat Angel Salmeron (Dodge City), 8-2 and Liberal’s Mitchell Irby, 8-4.
Aaron Rodriguez finished 1-2 in singles play defeating Jan Goebel (Dodge City), 8-6. Rodriguez then dropped 8-5 and 8-3 decisions to Didge City’s T.J. Van Haaren and Brian Morate to finish fourth.
In doubles, the Panthers’ Marcos Cerda and Santiago Talamantes went 2-1 for a third place finish. The Great Bend duet defeated Alex Pfiefer and Luis Ballestros of Cimarron by an 8-2 score before falling 8-2 to Dodge City’s Thomas Finley and Jacob Waldman. It was a tussel in the third place match against the host team’s Richard Rodriguez and Caleb Menjivar but Talamantes gained some needed momentum to secure the win.
Other doubles action saw O.C. Ofoma and Ben Diel finish 1-2. In their opening match, the pair fell to Dodge City’s Leo Garrido and Ronaldo Lopez, 8-2 before dropping another 8-2 decision to Peter Saenz and Collin Clark (Dodge City). Ofoma and Diel then downed Aurturo Juan and Connor Wilson (Liberal) in a tiebreaker, 7-6 (7-5).
On Saturday, the Panthers j.v. and varsity squads headed to Garden City for competition in a nine-team meet. Great Bend placed eighth with 13 team points while Dodge City placed as the top team with 31 points. Harris was a late scratch due to illness in the opening round of singles play and was not replaced.
In j.v. play, Dorian Lueth played two full matches and was tied in the third before rain showers halted competition. Lueth finished 1-1 for the day. In the second flight of singles, Rigo Miranda finished 2-1 placing second. All the doubles played in one bracket. Aaron Clark and Zak Doughtery finished at 1-2 while Phane Pedigo and Omar Talamantes were also 1-2.
Singles play from Garden City:
#2 Singles: Aaron Rodriguez, 3-1, 3rd place
lost to Mikey Ploutz, Hays, 7-8 (6-8)
def. Tristan Martinez, Liberal, 8-3
def. Ernie Leija, Colby, 8-2
def. Mikey Ploutz, Hays, 8-4
Doubles play from Garden City:
#1 Doubles: Marcos Cerda/Santi Talamantes, 2-2, 7th place
lost to Jacob Waldman/Thomas Finley, Dodge City, 2-8
lost to Braden Deyoe/Braden Scott, Ulysses, 6-8
def. Logan Clark/Drew Morley, Hays, 8-2
def. Tyler Oren/Brendon Overton, Colby, 8-4
#2 Doubles: Phane Pedigo/Omar Talamantes, 1-2, 7th place
lost to Justin Wimes/Andrew Hetrick, Wichita East, 0-8
lost to Jeffery Juarez/Austin Greathouse, Garden City JV, 1-8
def. Roger Dillon/Levi Gieraking, Ulysses, 8-3
Great Bend returns to play on Tuesday, April 28 at Emporia.