Logansport won at the top spots, but it wasn’t enough to dethrone the Marion Giants.
The Giants prevailed with a 3-2 win over the Berries on Thursday night at the LHS courts to secure their fourth straight North Central Conference title in boys tennis. The Berries (14-3, 4-2 NCC) gave the No. 26-ranked Giants (14-4, 6-0) a run for their money but came up just short.“Four years ago when I started here — and I knew what coach [Matt] Tuggle had done — we were overmatched four years ago by Marion,” LHS coach Mike Montgomery said. “The last two years it’s been 4-1, this year it was 3-2. We’re close, but they’re just a little more consistent as tennis players. They stroke the ball a little better and they make a little less mistakes.”The Berries won the matches at both No. 1 singles and doubles, but unfortunately for them by the time those matches had been decided the Giants had already gained the needed three points.In the final match to be decided on the night, Bryan Zehner defeated Tejas Srikanth 6-2, 6-3 at No. 1 singles.“I’m proud of Bryan. Bryan’s had a phenomenal career in the NCC. He’s lost one match,” Montgomery said.Marion coach Doug Porter also credited Zehner.“Bryan at No. 1 is a very tough player to compete against. He’s got a very frustrating style of play,” he said. “I thought it was one of the best matches I’ve seen Bryan play from beginning to end over his career. He didn’t have any letdowns. He kept his composure very well against Tejas. And Tejas is a very mentally tough player. He’s beaten some good opponents this year.”Dustin Clements and Kaleb Overway defeated Amogh Sehgal and Nicholas Spitzer 6-3, 1-6, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles.“The doubles, Dustin and Kaleb, they played well tonight, not the second set but they played well in the third,” Montgomery said. “Those guys have had kind of a strange year at 1 doubles. It’s taken them awhile to mesh. But I’ve always liked Dustin’s competitiveness. He’s a kid that doesn’t really play tennis until tennis season gets here, but once he’s between the lines he always competes hard. And Kaleb’s matured a little bit, so that’s been good.”Marion won its three points in straight sets.Vinai Oddiraju defeated Nathaniel King 6-1, 6-2 at No. 2 singles.Montgomery has been pleased with King’s improvement this year.“What that kid’s done from two years ago to get his body in shape and what he’s become ... I’m proud of where he was two years ago to where he’s at now. It just shows you can get it done if you commit to doing it. So I’m proud of him as well,,” he said.Lucas Eastburn was defeated by Korbett O’Banion 6-3, 6-2 at No. 3 singles.“Lucas, he ran into a buzzsaw,” Montgomery said. “People will see the score at 6-2 and 6-3, but they played an hour, 40-minute match. There were a lot of long points and that kid just made fewer mistakes in the match.”Said Porter: “I thought that was the best-played match on both ends of the net — No. 3 singles today.”Matt Jennings and Jared Cole were defeated by Alex Lyons and Andrew Spitzer 6-1, 6-4 at No. 2 doubles.“At 2 dubs, if those guys could have gotten that second set, it was 5-4 and if you could pull that out who knows what takes place. Give Marion credit, they’ve been the class of the conference,” Montgomery said. “Even though they lose it’s a good experience for a Matt Jennings and a Jared Cole. They’ve really had a good year, but they didn’t play together against a team like West Lafayette that night. Matt played singles and Jared wasn’t in the lineup that night. So this was really what I thought was the first challenging where there was going to be people here, how’d they react. And they just didn’t react real well in the first set. They started to compete in that second set.”Marion won a state title in boys tennis in 1991. The Giants again won an NCC title in 1992 but then didn’t win another one until they started their current streak in 2010.“The seniors have won four in a row and that’s a great accomplishment because our conference is so tough,” Porter said. “Logansport has been a very consistent team over the last several years. The other conference schools, Richmond, Kokomo and Anderson in the last couple years have been really good.”The Berries host their sectional next week, an event they’ve won seven years in a row.Girls soccerLogan 4, Northwestern 1Logansport senior Whitney Jennings scored three goals to celebrate her 18th birthday on senior night for the Berries. The Miss Basketball candidate has now scored 26 goals in 12 games this season.Mallory Rowe added a goal for the Berries (6-6). Bailey Graham had two assists, and Abby Geer and Mariana Figueroa each added an assist.“I thought we played very well for senior night,” LHS coach Todd Reiff said. “They were very focused from the get go. We had a shot on goal 5 seconds into the game. I thought our midfield played much better. Our defense did really well. We gave up a goal on a direct kick and we’ll work on that the next practice. [Goalkeeper] Karli Armstrong had some really nice saves and did a nice job in goal.“Whitney had two goals on corner kicks. Bailey Graham did a great job putting the ball right where it needed to be. Mallory Rowe had a really nice goal.“We had a lot of shots on goal, probably at least 25 if not more. We have to work on finishing.”The Berries travel to Richmond on Saturday and will play on the Red Devils’ brand new field turf at their football stadium. The girls-boys doubleheader begins at 2 p.m.Boys soccerFW Wayne 1, Logan 0The Berries were shut out at Fort Wayne Wayne to fall to 1-9.“It was the first time playing or seeing the generals. It was a well-played match,” LHS coach Mike Turner said. “We gave up the only goal on a corner kick. [Goalkeeper] Jesus Martin had an awesome game. He tallied 16 saves which six where well hit on goal. We had 13 shots and six were on goal. Just a little unlucky, two hit off the post. Overall a good, positive game.”VolleyballLogansport 3, Marion 0Logansport (10-8) improved to 2-1 in the North Central Conference with a win over Marion.After defeating Maconaquah Wednesday night in four games, Logansport defeated Marion by a score of 25-5, 25-7, 25-16.“I thought the girls played well tonight,” Logan coach Jon Vernon said.Hannah Jones led Logansport with 19 digs, and Katie Easter followed with 14. Lindsey Cheney added 12 digs, and Kailey Vernon came up with eight. Nakeya Penny contributed with 10 kills, and Syd Bullard had seven, and Paulie Fry had two blocks.Pioneer 3, Winamac 1Pioneer (14-6) stayed undefeated in the Midwest Conference at 4-0 with the win. The Panthers were in hostile territory at Winamac, which gave Winamac an advantage, said PHS coach Rod Nies. They won 16-25, 25-17, 25-18 and 25-20.“It was a hard fought game,” Nies said. “It was Winamac’s fan appreciation night, and their crowd was fired up. Winamac played well in the first set, and we battled back in the second set. We did struggled with emotion and intensity. We missed a lot of serves, but we continue to chip away, and today we were not a very good team. We were pretty lucky and fortunate to get away with a win.”Sarah Dorris led Pioneer with 17 digs, 14 service points, 10 kills and seven aces. Riley Morris added 17 assists, seven service points and five digs. Kayte Miller came up with 10 digs, five kills, four service points and three blocks. Megan Smith came up with 11 digs and 10 service points. Hannah Tevis had 13 kills and four blocks. Shelby Roller added 16 assists and eight digs.Bethany Brogdon collected 36 digs to lead the Warriors. Taylor Jones had 13 assists and eight digs.Jaclyn Jacobs had seven blocks to go with four kills. Savanna Button had eight kills and Ashley Eichelberger added seven.“We had a really good first game and came out of the blocks quickly,” WHS coach Cathy DeFries said. “Unfortunately we ran into a little trouble in serve receive in the second game and had to battle back. We were down 8-0 and cut it to 4-point lead. Just not enough steam to finish it. We stayed close in the next two games and were within striking distance but just couldn’t get it done. “I was very proud of our effort tonight and thought Jaclyn Jacobs did an amazing job at the net tonight defensively.”Carroll 3, Cass 2In a husband-wife matchup on the sidelines, Denny Crum’s Cougars were able to defeat Gretchen Crum’s Kings, 22-25, 25-17, 25-22, 15-25, 15-10.Denny Crum might have had to sleep in the sheep barn Thursday night.The Cougars (8-10) could not have done it without the hard work of Libby Eller having 29 digs. Bailey Worl was transitioning well with 26 kills and five blocks. Elizabeth Eurit had a personal-best 41 assists.Daughter Claire Crum had eight kills, six digs and four aces for the Kings. Trisha Hartley had 11 kills and 2.5 blocks.Tori Powell had seven kills, six digs and four aces. Aubrey Young added seven kills. Kassi Zeck had 22 digs. Bailey Gremelspacher had 12 assists and three aces and Gabi Hartley added 17 assists.“We were unable to capitalize on their serve receive errors,” Gretchen Crum said. “That and lots of subs for Carroll slowed the game down and that was not in our favor. So now we are running even and the difference is Bailey Worl. I think Carroll’s game plan worked and ours did not. Once again we played very hard and encouraged each other. We did a lot of positive things. We must cut down on our errors in the heat of the game to earn the win.”