High School Sports

Ocean Springs rides 'revenge factor' to Class 6A tennis title

The Ocean Springs High School tennis team won the Class 6A state championship on Monday.
The Ocean Springs High School tennis team won the Class 6A state championship on Monday. Special to the Sun Herald

Ocean Springs swept the three boys matches and girls doubles for a 5-2 victory over Madison Central for the MHSAA 6A tennis championship Monday.

The result was a reversal of the past two years, when Madison Central beat Ocean Springs for the title.

“What a rivalry it has been over the past few years,” said Ocean Springs coach Ryan Joiner. “There was a little bit of a revenge factor. But we're such good friends with all these kids.

"They play tournaments together. You want revenge, but you want your team to play its best and they did today.”

The Greyhounds wrapped it up when Abby Chapman and Madalyn Smelley won the last three games at Number 2 girls doubles for a 7-6, 6-4 victory over Kat Fritts and Emma Liles to give Ocean Springs a 4-2 lead.

Bradley Pinosky added a fifth point for the Greyhounds when he came from behind for a 2-6, 7-6, 10-5 victory over Clay Fudge in the boys singles match decided by a super tiebreaker.

Chapman knew the championship was on her racket when she served at 5-4 in the second set.

“I just pushed through the nerves,” she said. “I really wanted to hit an ace on the last point.”

It wasn't an ace, but it was a service winner when the return flew long.

Ocean Springs' other points came at Number 1 boys doubles when Cole Wagoner and Slay Wagoner defeated Walker Ellis and Tim Seago 6-3, 6-2; Number 2 boys doubles, Beck Guidry and Will Evans defeated Thomas Henderson and Graham Storey 6-1, 6-0, and Number 1 girls doubles, Sophie St. Amant and Anna Hudson defeated Courtney Reid and Dailee Ellis 6-1, 6-2.

Madison Central won girls singles, Ann Cabot Stockett defeated Caroline Hudson 6-3, 6-2; and mixed doubles, Bryant Buteau and Megan Humphreys defeated Andrew Bowie and Sinnay St. Amant 6-3, 4-6, 10-6.

“The lineup was in our favor,” Joiner said. “The girls doubles scores were awesome.”

Ocean Springs is a veteran team with eight seniors, including all six boys, among the 12 who played Monday.

“They will be a lot younger (next year), but the talent is always there. It's going to keep coming up,” Joiner said.

Prior to losing to Madison Central in 2016 ans 2017, Ocean Springs had won six straight state championships. The individual competition began Monday and will continue through Wednesday at Parham Bridges Tennis Center.

Pinosky and Hudson, the defending champion, are playing singles and Ocean Springs has two teams each in boys doubles and girls doubles and one in mixed doubles.

Stone High drops decision to Lafayette

5A Stone is runner-up in 5A for the eighth straight year after dropping a 4-3 decision to Lafayette.

The Tomcats lost to Oxford in the final the previous seven years before Oxford moved up to 6A this year. Stone's points came at Number 1 boys doubles, Orren Ladner and Kye Bond defeated William Smith and Nate Leary 6-3, 6-1; Number 1 girls doubles, Anna Stringer and Kaylen Bond defeated Sara Moore and Lilly McElreath 6-0, 6-0; and mixed doubles, Nick Alexander and Emily Luke defeated Barnett Childress and Lucy Wilaon 6-4, 6-1.

For Lafayette, the winners were Manuel Lopez-Wolff at boys singles, Ally Bowen at girls singles, Dawson Welch and Foster Roush at Number 2 boys doubles and Emma Wilson and Halle Moore at Number 2 girls doubles.

“They payed great. They did the best they could,” Stone coach Freddie Wegner said of his team. With no seniors among the 12 who played for Stone, the future looks bright for the Tomcats.

Lawson Pearson plays boys singles and Noelle King girls singles in the individual competition.

The Tomcats will have one team each in boys doubles, girls doubles and mixed doubles.