Havre Daily News
Both Havre High tennis teams were in unfamiliar territory this weekend at the Great Falls Invitational tennis tournament in Great Falls.
Over the past seven years, the Havre High boys have went to the dual tournament in Great Falls and the Ponies have always held their own against the Class AA's elite tennis teams.
Meanwhile, the HHS girls haven't had as much good fortune when stepping up to the Class AA ranks in Great Falls.
But on Friday and Saturday in Great Falls, the roles got reversed somewhat. The HHS girls went a respectable 2-2 in four duals, while the Blue Pony boys went 1-3 and failed to defeat a Class AA opponent.
“Our girls played some great tennis this weekend, and even in the duals we lost, they were right there to the end,” HHS head coach George Ferguson said. “But our boys team struggled quite a bit and they lost a ton of very close matches. So the positive we can take away from that is that we are very close to getting to where we need to be because if you look at a lot of our scores. If those close losses would have gone the other way, we would have probably finished 3-1 or maybe even went undefeated.”
On Friday, the HHS girls opened the tournament with a 4-3 win over Butte High. Havre swept the doubles portion of the dual and junior Christen Kittelson picked up the deciding victory at No. 4 singles.
On Friday evening, Havre fell back to Earth a little when the Ponies dropped a 6-1 decision to Billings Senior, the defending Class AA state champions.
Havre's lone win came from the doubles team of Karissa Olson and Alexa Lipp.
“Scores-wise, it looks like we got killed by Billings Senior,” Ferguson said. “And they are a deep team. But actually, our kids all played really well. Hope Hedges played a great No. 2 singles player in Cara Lehman, and Hope was playing up and she absolutely pushed Lehman. And Step Flatau and Keelie Solomon lost a really close match, which would have given us another win. There was no shame in how our kids played in that dual.”
Meanwhile, Friday was one of the most difficult days an HHS boys team has experienced in quite some time. The Ponies lost 5-2 to both Butte and Billings Senior.
Against Butte, the Ponies got a solid win from freshman Mason Sheppard in singles and a dominating performance from their No. 1 doubles team of John Christian and Billy Wagner.
Against the defending Class AA champion Billings Senior Broncs, Havre mixed up its lineup in order to try to stay with the Broncs' deep singles lineup. Christian and Wagner played admirably in the No. 1 and No. 2 spots and freshman Shane Kemmer earned a victory at No. 4. Havre's No. 3 doubles tandem of Jordan Croft and Brad Hanson also picked up a close win.
“As a whole, Friday was a very tough day for our boys team,” Ferguson said. “We had to mix the lineup up some because we were missing Chase Castloo, but that didn't really affect the outcome of either dual. We just didn't play as well as we were capable of and we didn't win the tiebreakers or close matches that we needed to in order to make the final scores closer.”
On Saturday, both the Havre High boys and girls teams dropped 4-3 decisions to the CMR Rustlers. It was the second time in a week that the Blue Pony girls fell to the Rustlers by one match, while the Havre High boys defeated CMR 4-3 on Tuesday.
Both HHS teams finished the tournament with wins over Class B rival Cut Bank. The Havre High girls blanked the Wolves 7-0, and the HHS boys downed Cut Bank 5-2.
“I couldn't be more pleased with how our girls team did this weekend,” Ferguson said. “They really rose to the occasion against some really good competition, and I saw improvement in all of them everytime they stepped on the court. And I can't say enough about the play of all of our singles players this weekend. They all played up because we were missing Katie Mariani, and they all did a great job, especially Haley McLain. She stepped up and played the No. 1 spot and in this tournament. That isn't an easy thing to do.
“And I know our boys team is disappointed right now,” he added. “But we have time to get better. Those losses this weekend won't affect how we do in the postseason, and our boys team, especially our younger players, hopefully understand that. We have time to get better, and with some hard work, we'll win those close matches at the end of the season that we lost this weekend.”
Both Havre High tennis teams will hit the road again this weekend when they travel to the Mayfair Invitational in Billings. The tournament, which is hosted by Billings Central, gets under way Friday morning.
Great Falls Invitational
Blue Pool standings
Bozeman 4-0, Billings Skyview 2-2, Billings West 2-2, Great Falls High 1-3, Conrad 0-4.
Green Pool standings
Billings Senior 4-0, C.M. Russell High 3-1, Butte High 3-1, Havre High 1-3, Cut Bank 0-4.
Butte 5, Havre High 2
Brady Bentley (B) def. Scott Miller 6-2, 6-2; Robbie Meyer (B) def. Todd Roe 6-3, 6-4; Nick Huang (B) def. Shane Vemmer 7-6, 7-5; Mason Sheppard (Hav) def. Marcus McCaughey 6-2, 6-3.
John Christian-Billy Wagner (Hav) def. Marc Cutler 6-4, 7-6 (7-5); Cody People-Andrew Siegel (B) def. Ryan Kinholt-David Zentmire 7-5, 6-4; Alex Downey-Craig Bickel (B) def. Jordan Croft-Brad Hanson 6-7, 6-4 (12-10).
Billings Senior 5, Havre High 2
Travis Lehman (BS) def. John Christian 6-4, 6-4; Brain Lesueur (BS) def. Billy Wagner 6-2, 6-3; Seth Sommerfeld (BS) def. Scott Miller 6-2, 6-3; Shane Kemmer (Hav) def. Logan Stahley 6-4, 6-2.
Tymer Moses-Joe Pavlish (BS) def. David Zentmire-Ryan Kinholt 6-3, 6-4; Caleb Nelson-Corey Waldron (BS) def. Todd Roe-Mason Sheppard 3-6, 7-6 (5-7), 11-9; Jordan Croft-Brad Hanson (Hav) def. Travis Mills-Corey Steinmetz 7-5, 2-6, 12-10
CMR 4, Havre High 3
Josh Tierney (CMR) def. Todd Roe 6-4, 6-3; Austin Erwin (CMR) def. Scott Miller 6-4, 5-6, 10-6; Shane Kemmer (Hav) def. Jake Skovron 6-2, 7-5; Mason Sheppard (Hav) def. Ty Breuer 7-6 (7-4), 6-3.
David Anderson-Nick Richards (CMR) def. Billy Wagner-John Christian 6-3, 6-4; Barrett Belew-Gui Gaugry (CMR) def. Ryan Kinholt-David Zentmire 6-4, 6-4; Jordan Croft-Tim McLean (Hav) def. Kale Huseby-Colby McKamey 7-6, 6-7 (7-5), 10-8.
Havre High 5, Cut Bank 2
Brett Cline (CB) def. Scott Miller 6-4, 6-2; Steven Paulson (CB) def. Todd Roe 6-4, 6-4; Shane Kemmer (Hav) def. Josh Paulson 7-5, 6-2; Tim McLean (Hav) def. Jeremy Whelchel 7-6 (7-4), 6-3, 10-8.
John Christian-Billy Wagner (Hav) def. Matt Whelchel-Cody Pyette 6-3, 6-4; Ryan Kinholt-David Zentmire (Hav) def. Brian Lindberg-Andy Halvorsen 6-2, 6-3; Jordan Croft-Mason Sheppard (Hav) def. Reid Gage-Spencer Lewis 6-3, 7-6 (8-6), 13-11.
Blue Pool standings
Bozeman 4-0, Billings Skyview 2-2, Billings West 2-2, Great Falls High 1-3, Conrad 0-4
Green Pool standings
Billings Senior 4-0, C.M. Russell High 3-1, Butte High 2-2, Havre High 2-2, Cut Bank 0-4.
Havre High 4, Butte 3
Johnna Beatty (B) def. Haley McLain 6-4, 6-3; Joanna Meyer (B) def. Hope Hedges 6-2, 6-3; Grodyan Warner (B) def. Jocelyn Chagnon 4-6, 6-3, 10-7; Christen Kittelson (Hav) def. Kaila Sullivan 6-3, 7-5.
Keelie Solomon-Steph Flatau (Hav) def. Mandi Hill-Molly Bentley 6-4, 6-3; Kari Gorder-Kristi Hollingshead (Hav) def. Stevie MacMillian 6-3, 6-2; Alexa Lipp-Karissa Olson (Hav) def. Katie Waterman-Deni Klusdahl 6-2, 6-3.
Billings Senior 6, Havre 1
Missy Harris (BS) def. Haley McLain 6-2, 6-2; Cara Lehman (BS) def. Hope Hedges 7-6 (7-2), 6-2; Rikki Peach (BS) def. Christen Kittelson 7-5, 6-3; Megan Mollgaard (BS) def. Jocelyn Chagnon 6-2, 6-3.
Laura Cole-Sarah Weaver (BS) def. Steph Flatau-Keelie Solomon 4-6, 6-3, 10-5; Kelsey Schiltz-Gretchen Hauptman (BS) def. Kari Gorder-Kristi Hollingshead 6-2, 6-4; Karissa Olson-Alexa Lipp (Hav) def. Jolene Karls-Eva Meier 7-6 (7-2), 6-2.
CMR 4, Havre High 3
Quincy Carter (CMR) def. Keelie Solomon 6-2, 7-6; Charlie Murphy (CMR) def. Steph Flatau 6-3, 6-2; Haley McLain (Hav) def. Brytney Scheer 7-5, 6-2; Hope Hedges (Hav) def. Sara Palagi 6-2, 6-3.
Mary Anderson-Jordan Skovron (CMR) def. Kari Gorder-Kristi Hollingshead 6-4, 6-2; Karissa Olson-Alexa Lipp (Hav) def. Katie Russell-Lisa Mason 6-4, 6-2; Addison Murphy-Bailey Lagge (CMR) def. Jocelyn Chagnon-Christen Kittelson 6-2, 4-6, 11-9.
Havre High7, Cut Bank 0
Haley McLain (Hav) def. Kelsey Cooper 6-4, 6-2; Hope Hedges (Hav) def. Melissa Helvik 6-3, 6-2; Jocelyn Chagnon (Hav) def. Katie Winkowitsch 6-3, 6-2; Christen Kittlelson (Hav) def. Callie Cooper 6-2, 6-2.
Keelie Solomon-Steph Flatau (Hav) def. Melanie Rice-Leah Gregg 6-4, 6-4; Kari Gorder-Kristi Hollingshead (Hav) def. Danni Johnson-Laura Gregg 6-4, 4-6, 10-3; Alexa Lipp-Karissa Olson (Hav) def. Callie Cooper-Marla Rice 6-4, 6-3.