Surry Central defeated North Surry for the second time in tennis, but the Greyhounds didn’t go gently.
The Golden Eagles edged ahead in singles, then swept doubles for a 7-2 victory that was a lot closer than the team score.
North Surry’s Corbin Willard won quickly on Court Two, defeating Kirk Needham 6-0, 6-1 to give the Hounds a 1-0 lead.
Then Central’s Zach Cochran beat Mason Taylor 6-2, 6-1 to even the score.
Third seed Trent Day gave Surry Central the lead with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Alex Jones. Day was ahead just 3-2 in the first set when he ran off six of the next seven games.
The final three matches were close and long.
On Court Four, North’s Elijah Bryant took the first set 7-5, but Tanner Mears won the second 6-3 to force a tiebreaker.
Similarly, North’s sixth seed, Cameron Shore, won the first set 6-2, but Ben Shinault came back with a 6-4 second set to force a third set.
At the same time, Central top seed Zach Wilmoth nearly went to a tiebreaker in both sets before defeating Samuel Holder.
Wilmoth was up 6-5 in the first set, but Holder was serving for a chance to tie. Wilmoth broke his serve to win 7-5.
In the second set, Wilmoth was up 3-0 before Holder began to show signs of life.
Holder won five of the next six games and held a set point twice before Wilmoth broke him to tie the set 5-all. Wilmoth won the final two games for a 7-5, 7-5 victory.
At this point, Central led 3-1, but North still had a chance to tie the match.
Shore got the Hounds closer at 3-2 with an 11-9 tiebreaker over Shinault.
Meanwhile, Bryant went up 6-1 on Mears.
However, the Eagle responded strongly to win 12-10 and give Central a commanding 4-2 lead.
The Eagles swept doubles. Wilmoth and Day defeated Holder and Willard 8-6.
Needham and Mears won 8-3 over Jones and Bryant.
Cochran and Shinault won 8-0 over Shore and John Nichols.
Just because a match goes on for a long time doesn’t necessarily mean there is great tennis being played, said Central coach Mark Parsons. Out there on North’s courts Thursday, there was good tennis being played by both sides.
The Eagles are firmly established in second place, having lost only once in the conference to West Stokes. A rematch between Central and West is scheduled for April 10.
That will be a big match, both as a team and individually, said Parsons.
If the Eagles can win, then the two schools could tie for the Western Piedmont regular season crown.
And if Wilmoth could defeat Andrew Holmes, the senior might be the favorite for player of the year.
Holmes defeated Wilmoth in the first meeting, but lost to North’s Holder. Since Wilmoth has beaten Holder twice now, a win over Holmes would move Wilmoth into the discussion for the award.
Next up for the Eagles, however, is a trip to Forbush on Tuesday. The Hounds go to South Stokes on Tuesday.