DOBSON — Oh, so close.
Surry Central came into Thursday’s rematch with West Stokes with a chance to claim an improbable share of a Western Piedmont Athletic Conference title, just one season after graduating five senior starters. In a match that came down to two key showdowns — a singles match that went to a match tiebreaker and a doubles match that ended 9-7, the Wildcats hung on for a second straight 5-4 victory and forced the Golden Eagles to settle for second place.
Central (7-5, 5-2 WPAC) split the doubles matches 3-3 with West Stokes, but could have had control of the match with a win at No. 4 doubles, where Alex Burns rallied from a bagel in his first set against Isaac Spainhour, winning the second set 7-5. In the tiebreaker, Spainhour held him off 10-8 to claim the win.
In the other singles matches, West Stokes won at Nos. 1 and 2, with Ethan Elliott beating Brandon Norman 6-1, 6-1 and Nick Spainhour scoring a 6-2, 6-2 win over Zane Joplin. However, Seth Buie won 6-0, 6-2 over Ian Simpson at No. 3. The Eagles’ Rodrigo Landaverde downed Will Swink 6-2, 6-0 at No. 5, and Kevin Montero scored a 7-6, 6-2 win over John Brooke.
The 3-3 singles split meant that whoever won two of the doubles would win the match. Burns and Landaverde beat Swink and Brooke 8-4 at No. 3 for Central, but Elliott and Simpson topped Joplin and Buie 8-2. That left Central’s fate in the hands of Norman and Montero against the Spainhours. The Wildcat duo outlasted them for a 9-7 win and a 5-4 team victory.
Surry Central’s regular season is completed, and the Eagles will await the conference tournament and the dual-team state playoffs.