BROOKINGS — The Huron Tiger tennis teams got one singles player and one doubles team into their respective finals at the ESD Tennis Tournament on Friday, earning 118 points and a fifth-place finish.
Brandon Valley was the run-away champion, garnering 354 points on the day to outdistance runner-up Yankton’s 265 points. Mitchell finished third with 141 and Aberdeen Central was a single point ahead of the Tigers in fourth place.
“I am very happy with our fifth-place finish,” said HHS tennis coach Tim Hedblom. “Finishing one point out of fourth is an accomplishment.”
Freshman Roger Puterbaugh earned a shot at the No. 5 singles title, taking his second seed and blanking Jacob Meester of Watertown 10-0, and ousting Grant Judson of Pierre 10-8 before dropping the title match 10-6 to top-seeded Gage Beck of Yankton.
Eh Dah, a Tiger sophomore, was seeded second at No. 3 singles and quickly dispatched Blake Judson of Pierre 10-1 and then lost 8-2 to Gabe Goetz of Aberdeen Central, before rebounding with a 9-7 win over Jacob Frantzen of Brandon Valley to claim third place.
“Roger had a great day on the court to finish second at Flight five,” Hedblom said. “Eh Dah’s third place finish was great, as was his teaming with Eh Kalu for a second at No. 2 doubles.”
Eh Kalu won his first-round match at No. 4 singles, but dropped the next two to finish fourth in the tournament, while No. 6 player Tyrese Theus dropped his opening round match, came back to defeat a Watertown player in the consolation round, then lost a close decision in the fifth-place match.
The second flight doubles team of Eh Dah and Eh Kalu mowed down a team from Aberdeen Central 10-8 in the opening round, dispatched a Yankton team in the semifinals, but were stopped 10-4 in the title match by a team from Brandon Valley.
The No. 3 doubles team of Moo Sher Say and Puterbaugh upset a higher-seeded Watertown team in the opening round 11-10 - 7-3 in the tie breaker - but then lost two straight to finish fourth.
Huron’s No. 1 singles player, Brenden Schlader won his play-in match, but then lost to top-seeded Desmond Looft of Harrisburg and to Matthew Schmitz of Brandon Valley. No. 2 singles player Reese Uecker dropped his play-in match, as did the doubles team of Schlader and Uecker.
Huron will compete at the State Tennis Tournament, beginning Thursday, in Sioux Falls and Brandon Valley.
“Overall I felt we had a really good tournament,” Hedblom said. “We have continued to improve and I feel we are playing our best tennis right now, which is what we want going into the state tournament.”