Havre Daily News Staff
On the final day of the regular season, the Havre High boys and girls tennis teams showed that they are still the teams to beat in the upcoming Central A Divisional tennis tournament for the most part. The HHS girls, which have had an up-and-down season, went undefeated in five duals on Saturday, while the boys won three times and suffered a stunning upset to host Lewistown at the Lewistown Invitational tennis tournament. "Our girls had a great day," HHS head coach George Ferguson said. "All 10 of them really stepped their game up this weekend, and because of how they played, we fell like we're certainly one of the teams to beat this next two weeks." The Pony girls started the day with a rousing 6-1 win over defending Central A and Class A state champion Livingston. In that match, HHS senior Katie Mariani knocked off arch rival and 2007 Class A singles champion Anna Arrasmith in three sets. The two have been involved in multiple classic matches over their four-year careers and Saturday's was no different. Havre also got big wins in the Livingston dual from its three doubles teams, including sophomores Haley Donovan and Courtney Kinholt, who beat the Livingston duo of Hannah Barney and Molly Morrow, a team many consider to be the favorite to capture the divisional and state doubles title this season. The Pony girls continued their march through Saturday with a 4-3 win over Anaconda, a 7-1 triumph over Butte Central, a 6-1 victory over Hardin and a 5-2 win over Lewistown. In all, Mariani, the two-time defending Central A champion, won five times, as did junior Hope Hedges, who is now on an 16-match winning streak. In doubles, the team of Haley McLain and Mikaela Lipp also went undefeated in four matches, while Kinholt and Donovan lost just once as did Morgan McCann and Jolee Landgraf. "Everybody on our girls team played great on Saturday," Ferguson said. "I mean, we only lost seven times all day. When you play that many matches, that's a really good day, and the timing couldn't be better." On the boys side, the Ponies started the day off with an easy 6-1 victory over Livingston, but then came the difficult part of the tournament as Havre lost to Lewistown in a dual for the first time in 14 years. The Eagles swept all four singles matches and tipped the scale by winning the No. 3 doubles match. HHS went on to beat Hardin 5-2 and Butte Central 6-1. Havre got a steady day from its top two doubles teams, especially seniors David Zentmire and Brad Hanson, who went a perfect 4-0 on what was their best day of the season. Todd Roe and Kyle Miller also went an easy 4-0 on the day and Shane Kemmer and Mason Sheppard each won three times in singles. "Our boys team was still dominant most of the day. Guys like David and Brad had a really good day." Ferguson said. "We didn't play our best against Lewistown and I know they were all disappointed. But that's over and done with now, and we just have to get back to work and make sure we're ready to play our best at the divisional tournament, because at this point, nothing else this season matters. All those matches are in the past and we just have to be ready to do our best this weekend." With the regular season over, the HHS boys finished with a 6-6 dual record while the Pony girls finished the season strong, with an overall record of 8-5. On Thursday, the HHS tennis teams will be back in Lewistown for Friday and Saturday's Central A Divisional tournament.