Broncs, Montana spring top Maroons on chilly courts

Broncs, Montana spring top Maroons on chilly courts
Butte Central's Nick Lester goes low to return volley Saturday afternoon at Stodden Park. Lester and Hart beat Hamilton’s Dawson Berglund and Jacob Rollins 14-12 in a tiebreaker. (Bill Foley photos)

The Hamilton Broncs and Mother Nature were the winners Saturday as the Butte Central tennis team played at home for the first time this season.

The Maroons saw their match against Corvallis snowed out in the morning. Then, the Broncs took down BC in windy afternoon duals.

Hamilton’s boys’ and girls’ teams won each dual 6-1.

Central coach Becky Hancock did not use the weather — or the Maroons’ lack of court time this spring — as an excuse.

“Everyone is in the same boat with this weather stuff,” Hancock said. “I definitely think we could have played better overall.”

The coach added that the Maroons got a measuring stick as where they need to be as the season progresses.

“Hamilton had some tough squads on both sides,” Hancock said. “It was good for our kids experience wise to see that.”

Both of BC’s wins came at No. 2 doubles. Miranda Murray and Meredith Varady overcame a 6-4 loss in the first set to force a tiebreaker with Emma Hollingsworth and Morgan Gurnsey with a 6-2 win. The BC duo then won a tiebreaker 10-8.

On the boys’ side, Central’s Nick Lester and Eric Hart won a wild 6-4, 5-7, 14-12 decision over Dawson Berglund and Jacob Rollins.

Liam O’Connell and Jackson Heath took down BC’s Drew Badovinac and Gage Guldseth, and the Central No. 1 team said they did not play their best after the match.

“It just wasn’t there today, and that happens,” Hancock said.

Jonah Wilhelm and James Truax of Hamilton downed Justus McGee and Coy Campbell at No. 3 doubles.

In singles, Andy Purcell, Cooper Gurney, Isaac Harmon and Sam Duerr each won in straight sets. Jim Bradshaw played twice. Patrick Stimatz and Trevor Phillips played once.

The top two singles players — Bradshaw and Stimatz — are freshman. Hancock praised the two for competing against tough competition.

“It is tough,” Hancock said. “For the most part you are looking at kids who either play the sport all year long or at least have juniors and seniors who have played a lot. They go out there and they don’t complain.”

Maycee Anderson played No. 1 and No. 3 today on the girls’ side. She fell to Elaina Foss and Janessa Chaplin.

Again, Hancock pointed to the tough competition for the top singles player.

Gracie Hawkes of Hamilton topped Mollie Drew at No. 2, and Sophia Lewanski of Hamilton edged Varady 4-6, 7-5, 10-5 at No. 4.

Varady’s tough match came after her doubles win. Her doubles partner, Murray, also won an exhibition singles win.

Maria Kanewisher and Brynn Lehtola topped BC’s Patyon Hartwick and Sage Wall at No. 1 doubles. Anna Twardeski and Gwen Wolfe downed Central’s Kate Johnston and Lucy Kelly at No. 3.

“Maycee and Mollie, I think they’re going to start coming around on the single side once we get some consistent playing” Hancock said. “Same with doubles. Payton and Sage are pretty strong, too. They’ll start coming around.”

The Maroons will get some more court time — weather permitting — next Saturday at the Bitterroot Invitational.

“We’re only going to get better as the year progresses,” Hancock said. “I think we can only get better as we keep competing and get more experience. We’re learning what we need to improve on after each match.”

Hamilton 6, Butte Central 1

Andy Purcell, Hamilton, def. Jim Bradshaw 6-0, 6-0
Cooper Gurney, Hamilton, def. Patrick Stimatz 6-1, 6-0
Isaac Harmon, Hamilton, def. Trevor Phillips 6-2, 6-0
Sam Duerr, Hamilton, def. Jim Bradshaw 6-1, 6-1
Liam O’Connell/Jackson Heath, Hamilton, def. Drew Badovinac/Gage Guldseth 6-1, 6-3
Eric Hart/Nick Lester, BC, def. Dawson Berglund/Jacob Rollins 6-4, 5-7, 14-12
Jonah Wilhelm/James Truax, Hamilton, def. Justus McGee/Coy Campbell 6-1, 6-4

Hamilton 6, BC 1

Eliana Foss, Hamilton, def. Maycee Anderson 6-0, 6-0
Gracie Hawkes, Hamilton, def. Mollie Drew 6-3, 6-0
Janessa Chaplin, Hamilton, def. Maycee Anderson 6-2, 6-4
Sophia Lewanski, Hamilton, def. Meredith Varady 4-6, 7-5, 10-5
Maria Kanenwisher/Brynn Lehtola, Hamilton, def. Payton Hartwick/Sage Wall 6-1, 6-0
Miranda Murray/Meredith Varady, BC, def. Emma Hollingsworth/Morgan Gurney 4-6, 6-2, 10-8
Anna Twardeski/Gwen Wolfe, Hamilton, def. Kate Johnston/Lucy Kelly 6-2, 6-2

Miranda Murray, BC, def. Ellie Pearce 8-6

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