KING — One of the most important matches that Surry Central has played this season came down to the doubles portion on Tuesday evening.
The Golden Eagles traveled to Western Piedmont 2-A rival West Stokes for a match that is expected to have significant implications in the race for the conference title, and split the six singles matches before the host Wildcats pulled out a 5-4 victory by winning the Nos. 1 and 2 doubles.
Surry Central (2-3, 1-1) was easily the stronger team at the bottom of the lineup, as the Eagles won the Nos. 4-6 singles matches in straight sets while dropping just six games. However, West Stokes prevailed in all of the top three matches and none were particularly close.
In the doubles, the combinations favored the Wildcats. West’s Ethan Elliott and Noah Spainhour defeated Zach Cochran and Jose Montero 8-2 at No. 1, and Andrew Spainhour and Cameron Cresong downed Tanner Mears and Austin Gravely 8-1 in the second doubles.
Those wins clinched the victory for West Stokes (5-1, 2-0). Cole Leonard and Brandon Norman took the No. 3 doubles 8-2 for Central over Ian Simpson and Christian Thigpen, but that still left the Eagles one point short.
The singles matches were a display of either West Stokes’ strength up top, or the Eagles’ depth, depending on your perspective. One end of the courts saw the Wildcats rolling over the Eagles, while the other end was just the opposite.
In the top three singles, Elliott downed Cochran 6-0, 6-1; Andrew Spainhour beat Mears 6-2, 6-4; and Noah Spainhour topped Montero 6-2, 6-4. The 4-6 matches included Leonard beating Cresong 6-2, 6-0; Norman defeating Simpson 6-1, 6-1; and Austin Sale stopping Thigpen 6-2, 6-0.
The Eagles will host South Stokes on April 5.