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HHS netters finish the season playing well

Blue Pony Brayden Grimson swings at a forehand during the Class A state tennis tournament last Thursday in Great Falls.

Havre High sophomore Brandy Lambourne hits a backhand during a Class A state girls tennis match last Thursday night at the Meadowlark Country Club in Great Falls. Lambourne won a match as the lone Blue Pony girl in the field.

In the game of tennis, there's always highs and lows. That's the nature of the sport.

And that was the case for the four Havre Blue Ponies who played in this past weekend's Class A state tournament in Great Falls.

Senior Justin Jensen led the

Havre High's Simon McCann (left) and Brayden Grimson battle in the Class A state tennis tournament last Thursday in Great Falls.

Blue Pony boys to a strong seventh-place finish by finishing third in boys singles, while sophomore Brandy Lambourne scored one point as the only HHS girl to make the trip.

"We saw a little bit of everything from our kids this weekend," 10th-year HHS head coach George Ferguson said. "Obviously, Justin had an amazing tournament and one that will go down in history. Our doubles team didn't play as well as they would have liked, but that doesn't make me any less proud of them. We only had one girl qualify and she did a great job in her three matches.

"So it was up and down," he added. "But at the end of the day, all four kids played their hearts out, they gave us everything they had and as a coach, that's all I ask of them. So I am very proud of all four them."

While Jensen shined in boys singles on Friday, the senior doubles team of Brayden Grimson and Simon McCann didn't find the same fortunes they had in winning the Central A championship just five days earlier in Bozeman.

The Blue Pony duo lost a tough, three-set match to a strong Stevensville team Thursday morning, then was eliminated in straight sets by a duo from Polson on Thursday afternoon.

"It just wasn't their weekend," Ferguson said of Grimson and McCann. "And that's the cruel side of tennis. At state, if you're not at your very best, you'll get beat. And that's what happened. I don't think they played poorly, but they left the door open for the other teams in those matches and those things happen.

"But, none of that diminishes the careers those two have had," Ferguson added. "I couldn't be more proud of the amazing doubles career Brayden has put together, or the outstanding season Simon had, playing with two different partners. They are both great players and I'm so thankful to have had the opportunity to coach them. And those last two matches doesn't change any of that. I'm really proud of both of them."

Ferguson also had nothing but high praise for sophomore Brandy Lambourne. Playing in a loaded girls singles draw, Lambourne made plenty of headway towards what looks to be a promising career.

Lambourne was beaten by Glendive's Jordan Johnson, 6-0, 6-2 in the first round, while Johnson went on to a top-six finish. However, Lambourne quickly rebounded to dispatch Polson's Kylee Wegner in the consolation draw to stay alive.

Then, taking on Polson standout Sara Robinson, Lambourne pushed the match to a decisive third set before finally falling. It was a great start to her state tournament career, and she raised plenty of eyebrows along the way.

"Brandy's play had everybody talking," Ferguson said. "She showed up, played really well and was not intimidated. She showed everyone she's one of the young guns of Class A tennis.

"So it was a very productive tournament for Brandy," he added. "I told her when it was over, she probably learned more in eight hours Thursday, than she did the entire rest of the season. I couldn't have been happier with the way she played and her future is very, very bright."

Lambourne's one point gave HHS a tie for ninth place. Polson scored 35 points to Hamilton's 34 to win the state team title by one point. Glendive finished third with 22 points. Individually, Glendive's Morgan Opp beat Hamilton's Mary Cronwell for the singles title, while the duo of Huppert and MacLean from Hamilton edged Polson's Hendrix and Clay in the doubles final.

Corvallis won its third straight boys title, scoring 20 points. Stevensville was second with 18 and Billings Central was third with 16. Only Polson, Butte Central and Hardin also finished ahead of the Blue Ponies. Billings Central frosh Dillon Meyer beat Stevi's James Enzler for the boys championship, while the Corvallis duo of Walczynski and Pecok upended the Butte Central team of Noctor and Ralph for the boys doubles championship.

"It was a fun state tournament, and a really fun season," Ferguson said. "Every kid who came out for tennis this year was a joy to coach and I'm really proud of all that we accomplished as a program this spring. It's a sad time to say goodbye to all our seniors, but I'm also excited about all of the tremendous kids we have coming back. It's been a great last three months and I'm proud of all our players."

2012 Class A state tournament

At Great Falls


Team scores

1. Corvallis 21; 2. Stevensville 18; 3. Billings Central 16; 4. Polson 15; 5. Butte Central 13; 6. Hardin 12; 7. Havre 10; 8. Whitefish 8; 9. Hamilton 5; 10. (tie) Columbia Falls 4; Glendive 4; Park 4; 13. Lewistown 2; Anaconda 0; Dillon 0 Libby 0



Dillon Meyer, Billings Central, dec. Mitchell Decker, Corvallis, 4-6, 6-1, 6-2; James Enzler, Stevensville, dec. Rusty Burshia, Hardin, 4-6, 7-6, 6-1.

Fifth Place

Mitchell Decker, Corvallis, dec. Ethan Selig, Hamilton, 6-2, 4-6, 6-4

Third Place

Justin Jensen, Havre, dec. Rusty Burshia, Hardin, 6-2, 6-2


Dillon Meyer, Billings Central, dec. James Enzler, Stevensville, 6-2, 6-3



Noctor/Ralph, Butte Central, dec. Laimbeer/Davey, Polson, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4; Walczynski/Pekoc, Corvallis, dec. McGrann/Meier, Stevensville, 6-1, 6-0.

Fifth Place

McGrann/Meier, Stevensville, dec. Baumann/Albert, Hardin, 6-2, 6-1

Third Place

Laimbeer/Davey, Polson, dec. Kenyon/Ellis, Whitefish, 6-2, 6-4


Walczynski/Pekoc, Corvallis, dec. Noctor/Ralph, Butte Central, 6-1, 6-2


Team scores

1. Polson 35; 2. Hamilton 34; 3. Glendive 22; 4. Park 21; 5. Corvallis 10; 6. Dillon 3; 7. (tie) Lewistown 2; Hardin 2; 9. (tie) Havre 1; Anaconda 1; Billings Central 1; Columbia Falls 0; Libby 0; Whitefish 0; Stevensville 0; Butte Central 0



Morgan Opp, Glendive, dec. Macy Ricketts, Park, 6-0, 6-1; Mary Conwell, Hamilton, dec. Dylan Balanda, Park, 6-3, 6-2.

Fifth Place

Dylan Balanda, Park, dec. Jordan Johnson, Glendive, 6-2, 6-3

Third Place

Macy Ricketts, Park, dec. Whitney Zimmerman, Polson, 6-2, 6-1


Morgan Opp, Glendive, dec. Mary Conwell, Hamilton, 6-1, 6-2



Huppert/Maclean, Hamilton, dec. Engebretson/Borchers, Polson, 6-4, 6-2; Hendrix/Clay, Polson, dec. Seymour/Deboer, Park, 6-1, 6-2.

Fifth Place

Seymour/Deboer, Park, dec. Engebretson/Borchers, Polson, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3

Third Place

Madruga/Lengyel, Corvallis, dec. Quinn/Rochin, Polson, 6-4, 3-6, 6-4


Huppert/Maclean, Hamilton, dec. Hendrix/Clay, Polson, 6-4, 6-1.

Individual HHS Results

Justin Jensen (3rd Place)

1st rd – def. Dan Leggins, Libby, 6-2, 6-2; Quarterfinals – lost to Rusty Burshia, Hardin, 6-2, 6-4; Consolation 2nd rd – def. Sam Peel, Polson, 6-2, 6-4; Consolation 3rd rd – def. Brady Hislop, Polson, 6-4, 6-1; Consolation Semis – def. Mitchell Decker, Corvallis, 4-6, 6-2, 6-4; Third Place – def. Rusty Burshia, Hardin, 6-2, 6-2.

Brayden Grimson/Simon McCann

1st rd – lost to McGrann/Meier, Stevensville, 6-1, 3-6, 6-2; Consolation 1st rd – lost to Congdon/McCrumb, Polson, 6-3, 6-4.

Brandy Lambourne

1st rd – lost to Jordan Johnson, Glendive, 6-0, 6-2; Consolation 1st rd – def. Kylee Wegner, Polson, 6-1, 7-5; Consolation 2nd rd – lost to Sara Robinson, Polson, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.


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