By George Ferguson/Havre Daily News Sportsfirstname.lastname@example.org
The Fort Benton girls tennis team came to the Bill Vaughey Memorial Tennis Courts in Havre this weekend and did exactly what was expected, as the Longhorns edged the Chinook Sugarbeeters for the 2004 North East B-C divisional tennis team championship.
The Longhorns captured the top two spots in the girls singles competition and also grabbed a critical second-place finish in the doubles bracket en route to scoring 32 points. The Beeters came up just short of catching the Longhorns, finishing second with 27 points. Chester came in third with 18 points.
As expected, Fort Benton dominated the singles draw as Abby Kelly rolled to the divisional title. Kelly was not tested in three matches, including a 6-0, 6-2 thrashing of teammate Carly Squires in the championship match.
Chinook's Neele Leske rallied to finish third as she defeated Chester's Amanda Hofer 7-5, 6-2 in the consolation match. Liz Craig also gave the Beeters a boost by coming back through the losers' bracket to finish fifth. Craig defeated Chester's Sierra Munfrada in the final match 6-4, 6-2.
All six of the aforementioned singles players will move on to next week's state B-C tournament.
While the singles bracket went nearly according to form for Fort Benton, it was the play of their No. 1 doubles tandem of Becky Ghekiere and Carol Ann Spaabeck that may have locked up the team title. The duo battled to finish second in a very competitive doubles draw, which allowed them to stay ahead of Chinook in the team race.
In the doubles final, the favored team of Melanie Overcast and Lacey Sargent of Chinook defeated Ghekiere and Spaabeck, 6-4, 7-5 to capture the divisional title.
Chester also scored the bulk of its points by sending two doubles teams to the state tournament. The team of Amanda Violett and Shyann Norick defeated Chinook's Lacey Tollefson and Monica Thackeray 6-1, 6-4 in the consolation match to finish third.
Chester also got a fifth-place finish from Mary DeVries and Sierra Munfrada. The tandem won a hard-fought fifth-place match over Big Sandy's Sarah Yirsa and Naomi Williams 2-6, 6-4, 6-2, to earn the the final state tournament berth.
The 2004 Class B-C state tennis tournament will get under way on Friday morning in Missoula.
2004 NORTH EAST B-C DIVISIONAL
Fort Benton 32, Chinook 27, Chester 18, Big Sandy 1.
Keyla Wendland, CHE def. Jennifer Jones, FB 6-2, 6-2
Sierra Munfrada, CHE def. Larissa Harris, CHI 6-1, 6-2
Liz Craig, CHI def. Rachael Pottinger, FB 6-0, 6-1
Gen Burkhartsmeyer, CHI def. JoAnna LaSorte, CHE 6-0, 6-4.
Abby Kelly, FB def. Kayla Wendland, CHE 6-1, 6-0
Neele Leske, CHI def. Sierra Munfrada, CHE 6-1, 6-0
Amanda Hofer, CHE def. Liz Craig, CHI 7-6 (8-6), 4-6, 6-4
Carly Squires, FB def. Gen Burkhartsmeyer, CHI 6-1, 6-3.
Abby Kelly, FB def. Neele Leske, CHI 6-0, 6-1
Carly Squires, FB def. Amanda Hofer, CHE 6-1, 6-3.
Abby Kelly, FB def. Carly Squires, FB 6-0, 6-2.
Neele Leske, CHI def. Amanda Hofer, CHE 7-5, 6-2.
Liz Craig, CHI def. Sierra Munfrada, CHE 6-4, 6-2.
Melanie Overcast/Lacey Sargent, CHI def. Lundy/Wellman, FB 6-3, 6-1
Mary DeVries/Renata Munfrada, CHE def. Naomi Williams/Sarah Yirsa, BS 6-4, 6-1
Amanda Violett/Shyann Norick, CHE def. Lacey Tollefson/Monica Thackeray, CHI 7-5, 2-6, 7-5
Becky Ghekiere/Carol Ann Spaabeck, FB def. Egge/Bold, BS 6-0, 6-0.
Overcast/Sargent, CHI def. DeVries/Munfrada, CHE 6-4, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4
Ghekiere/Spaabeck, FB def. Violett/DeVries, CHE 6-1, 6-4.
Overcast/Sargent, CHI def. Ghekiere/Spaabeck, FB 6-4, 7-5.
Violett/Norick, CHE def. Tollefson/Thackeray, CHI 6-1, 6-4.
DeVries/Munfrada, CHE def. Williams/Yirsa, BS 2-6, 6-4, 6-2.