By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsfirstname.lastname@example.org
For the first time in seven years, there is a new champion in Northern B-C girls tennis. Despite some very adverse weather conditions, the Fort Benton Longhorns were able to capture the 2003 Northern B-C crown this weekend at the Bill Vaughey Memorial Tennis Courts in Havre.
The Chester Coyotes had been the seven-time defending Northern C champions, but the Longhorns raced out to score 37 team points en route to the team title. The Coyotes came in second with 21 points while Chinook came in third with 15 total points. Big Sandy finished fourth with 12 points.
As expected, top-seeded Abby Kelly of Fort Benton captured the divisional singles championship. Kelly had to work very hard for her title as she was pushed to three sets by Big Sandy's Carly Squires in the final match. In the end Kelly outlasted Squires 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 6-1.
Tess Ritter of Chester defeated Janae Singer of Fort Benton in the consolation match, while Savannah Fisher of Chester defeated teammate Amanda Hofer for fifth place. All six of those singles players will advance to the state tournament in Missoula.
In doubles, Chinook juniors Melanie Overcast and Lacey Sargent captured a surprising Northern B-C championship with a three-set win over the No. 2 team of Anna Bronec and Larae Krause of Fort Benton. The Chinook duo won the match by scores of 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5). The top-seeded Fort Benton duo of Heather Wendt and Kirby Allen rebounded to capture third place with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Kacey Diemert and Renata Munfrada of Chester.
Those four teams will also advance to the state tournament this weekend.
The state B-C tennis tournament will run May 15-17 and will be held at city courts around Missoula. Superior High School is the host team for the tournament.
Northern C Divisional
Fort Benton 37, Chester 21, Chinook 15, Big Sandy 12
First Round - Abby Kelly, FB bye; Amanda Hofer, CHE, def. Carolann Spaabeck, FB, 6-1, 6-4; Tess Ritter, CHE, def. Brianna Harboldt, CHI, 6-0.6-0; Rachel Hanson, CHI, def. Jessica Sheehy, BS, 6-1, 6-0; Savannah Fisher, CHE, def. Ge. Burkhartsmeyer, CHI, 6-1,6-2; Janae Singer, FB, def. Lorena Naef, BS, 6-0, 6-0; Becky Gherkire, FB, def. Sierra Munfrada, CHE, 6-2,6-2; Carly Squires, BS, bye.
Second Round - Abby Kelly, FB, def. Amanda Hofer, CHE, 6-3, 6-2; Tess Ritter, CHE, def. Rachel Hansen, CHI, 2-6, 6-1, 6-2; Janae Singer, FB, def. Savannah Fisher, CHE, 6-3, 6-1; Carly Squires, BS, def. Becky Gherkire, FB 6-3, 6-2.
Semifinals - Abby Kelly, FB, def. Tess Ritter, CHE 6-2, 6-3; Carly Squires, BS, def. Janae Singer, FB 6-4, 6-2.
Fifth Place - Savannah Fisher, CHE def. Amanda Hofer, CHE 8-3.
Third Place - Tess Ritter, CHE, def. Janae Singer, FB 6-4, 6-4.
Championship - Abby Kelly, FB, def. Carly Squires, BS 7-6 (7-5), 2-6, 6-1.
First Round - Heather Wendt/Kirby Allen, FB, def. Francene Egge/Sinead Field, BS 6-0, 6-0; Melanie Overcast/Lacey Sargent, CHI, def. Shyann Norick/Heidi Overlie, CHE 7-6 (7-4), 6-1; Anna Bronec/Larae Krause, FB, def. Sarah Yirsa/Naomi Williams, BS 6-2, 6-2; Kacey Diemert/Renata Munfrada, CHE, def. Monica Thackery/Andrea Eslick , CHI 6-4, 6-1.
Semifinals - Melanie Overcast/Lacey Sargent, CHI, def. Heather Wendt/Kirby Allen, FB 6-3, 1-6, 6-4; Anna Bronec/Larae Krause, FB, def. Kacey Diemert/Renata Munfrada, CHE 6-1,6-1.
Third Place - Heather Wendt/Kirby Allen, FB, def. Kacey Diemert/Renata Munfrada, CHE 6-1, 6-2.
Championship - Melanie Overcast/Lacey Sargent, CHI, def. Anna Bronec/Larae Krause, FB 4-6, 6-3, 7-6 (7-5).