Isaac Finley at state tournament

South Pontotoc's Isaac Finley returns a shot during opening round action at the 3A state tennis tournament. Finley went on to advance to the boys singles semifinals.

The South Pontotoc Cougar tennis team had an excellent performance at last week’s 3A state tournament, with all four courts reaching the semifinals of their respective events.

In boys singles Isaac Finley defeated Be Wilkinson of McLaurin 6-4, 6-1 in the opening round and Mooreville’s Clint Robinson 6-1, 6-7, 6-2 in the second. Finley dropped a semifinal contest to St. Patricks Anthony Schloegel.

In girls singles Maddy Angle beat Morton’s Kimberly Crotwell 6-0,6-0 to open the tournament before picking up a 6-4,6-4 win over New Site’s Lea Jalowietski. Angle lost to St. Patrick’s Lillie Guida 0-6, 0-6 in the semifinals.

Girls doubles team Haylee Finley and Addi Smith opened play with a dominant 6-0,6-0 victory over Wesson’s Amber Brinson and Kimberly San.

They cruised again in the second round to a 6-1, 6-0 win over Alcorn Central’s Brianna Essary and Olivia Smith. They fell 4-6, 4-6 to St. Andrew’s Anna Case and Elizabeth Lee.

The mixed doubles tandem of Judith Mills and Reese Duncan blew past Forest’s Kelly Atkison and Kayro Serrano-Arteaga 6-0, 6-0 in the first round.

In the second they bounced back from a 3-6 first set setback to East Side’s Edward Duvall and Skyler White to win the final two sets 6-0, 6-2 and advance into the final four.

There they matched up with St. Andrew’s Margaret Case and Andrew Ditto, who eliminated them 4-6, 6-7.

"I am so proud of all these kids," said South Pontotoc tennis coach Helen Bowen.

"They all played fantastic. To have everybody get to the semifinals is something we earned over the course of this year, and we were the only public school left standing.

“All of them (state tournament competitors) will be back next year.

“They are already thinking about next year and getting a game plan about how to get stronger and get to the finals.”

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