Logansport’s boys tennis team got a first-hand look at No. 1-ranked and three-time defending state champion Carmel on Wednesday in the Kokomo Regional final.
The Greyhounds won 5-0 with the Berries taking only three games in the match.
No. 1 singles player Bryan Zehner was the only Berry to win a game in a 6-1, 6-2 loss.
“He battled and was in some games. He was down 3-2 in the second set and was hoping to get a couple more games but the kid turned it up a notch,” LHS coach Mike Montgomery said.
The Logan coach said Lucas Eastburn played the second most competitive match of the day at No. 3 singles.
“He got a lot of games to deuce and had a chance to win some games,” Montgomery said.
The Berries finish 18-4 on the season. Montgomery noted seniors Zehner and No. 1 doubles player Dustin Clements were starters on teams that won 17, 17 and 18 games during their careers. Senior No. 2 singles player Nathaniel King was a starter the last two years.
The Berries finished runner-up in the North Central Conference this year, their best finish in years. They were edged by No. 26-ranked Marion 3-2 in their regular-season match.
“Our program has come a ways. A lot of that is getting kids in tennis in middle school,” Montgomery said. “We’re facing kids that play year round every day that have been playing tennis since they were 4 or 5. Some of these kids have some skills mastered at 11 or 12 and we’re starting at 11 or 12.
“We were talking to a guy from Carmel and they said they have a kid playing at St. Joe that didn’t play on their varsity team. ... They’ve got over 4,800 kids now, 1,200 or more per class.”
Zehner, who plans to play at Trine, finished his varsity career 55-10 despite missing several matches his sophomore year with a stress fracture in his foot. Montgomery said Zehner was 2-0 in doubles as a freshman, 9-1 as a sophomore in singles, 24-4 at No. 1 singles as a junior and 19-5 this season at No. 1 singles and 1-0 at No. 1 doubles.