By Denis House
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. —
North Laurel played host to South Laurel Tuesday as both teams prepare for the upcoming region tennis tournament, which starts today at Corbin.
The North Lady Jaguars beat the Lady Cardinals, 6-3, while the Jaguars rolled in boys’ action, 9-0.
“As a group, the girls were solid today in getting the win,” North Laurel coach Bobby Smith said. “Caroline (Moore) and Pooja (Kanthawar) lost in dubs, but we played pretty well. Neha (Rao) is one of the better players we’ve ever had in our region, and it was good to play her in doubles to prepare us for the regional tournament. We were competitive in about every game, and we did some good things out there. It was a fun match to watch.” Rao teamed with Emily Turner to beat the North duo, 6-2, 6-3.
With the exception of the No. 1 singles match, which Rao won over Pooja Kanthawar, 8-2, North Laurel won every other singles match. In doubles, South took two of three with Anna McCowan and Hannah Amburgey defeating Casey Stenger and Callie Camp, 8-4, to go along with the Rao/Turner win.
It wasn’t that close in boys’ action, as North rolled, 9-0.
“The boys got another convincing win today versus South,” Smith said. “Sammy (Maggard) and Justin (Maggard) continue to play well in doubles, and I was happy for Ryan (Jones) and Gavin (Gray) picking up another win. They’ve mainly been playing at No. 3 doubles and have had a pretty good season. They listen well, they work at it, and they’re getting rewarded for their efforts. Hasan (Salim) won again in singles, and he is another kid that’s had a fine season for us. He’s one of several younger boys on the team who will be a major cog in our success for years to come.
North Laurel traveled to Whitley County on Wednesday. The seeding meeting and draw for the region tournament was held Thursday night.
North Laurel 6, South Laurel 3 (girls)
Neha Rao (SL) def. Pooja Kanthawar (NL) 8-2; Kendra Smallwood (NL) def. Emily Turner (SL) 8-3; Caroline Moore (NL) def. Makenzie Jones (SL) 8-1; Brynna Ryle (NL) def. Savannah Durham (SL) 8-0; Makara Prichard (NL) def. Anna McCowan (SL) 8-6; Taylor Hubbard (NL) def. Hannah Amburgey (SL) 8-3
Rao/Turner (SL) def. Kanthawar/Moore (NL) 6-2, 6-3; Smallwood/Ryle (NL) def. Jones/Durham (SL) 8-4; McCowan/Amburgey (SL) def. Casey Stenger/Callie Camp (NL) 8-4
North Laurel 9, South Laurel 0 (boys)
Arjun Kanthawar (NL) def. Ben Tonkel (SL) 8-3; Spencer Bolton (NL) def. Ben McDonald (SL) 8-3; Hasan Salim (NL) def. Ethan Carnahan (SL) 8-1; Sammy Maggard (NL) def. Plinio Tuta (SL) 8-5; Justin Maggard (NL) def. Tyler Rush (SL) 8-1; Ryan Jones (NL) def. Andrew Watts (SL) 8-1
Maggard/Maggard (NL) def. Tonkel/Rush (SL) 8-2; Kanthawar/Bolton (NL) def. McDonald/Carnahan (SL) 8-3; Jones/Gavin Gray (NL) def. Tuta/Christian Helton (SL) 8-3