High winds and the East Helena Vigilantes blew through Stodden Park’s tennis courts Thursday afternoon.
The Vigilantes left town with a pair of Southwestern A victories over Butte Central. The East Helena girls won 4-3, and the Vigilante boys picked up a 6-1 win.
On the girls’ side, a forfeit loss proved to be the difference in the team scores. East Helena has a full team, and BC does not.
In singles, Central’s Mollie drew edged Kyleigh Queen in a 6-2, 4-6, 10-8 thriller. Drew also won an exhibition match
BC’s Miranda Murray and Meredith Varady won a 6-2, 2-6, 12-10 battle with MacKenzie Baily and Morgan Schwayer in No. 2 doubles. Kate Johnston and Lucy Kelly won in straight sets at No. 3.
Kelly also added exhibition doubles victories, one with Johnston and one with Payton Hartwick.
Hartwick and Sage Wall played No. 1 doubles for the BC girls. Maycee Anderson played two tough matches at No. 1 and No. 3 singles.
On the boys’ side, Eric Hart and Nick Lester won in straight sets at No. 2 doubles for BC’s only win.
Drew Badovinac and Gage Guldseth played No. 1 doubles, while Justus McGee and Owen McPartland played No. 3.
In singles, Jim Bradshaw, Patrick Stimatz, Trevor Phillips, Coy Campbell and Enrico Oriesek played for the Maroons.
Central coach Becky Hancock said her team played better than the scores. She noted her young boys’ team has a lot of players playing at higher levels because of their numbers.
“They hold their own out there,” Hancock said of her boys. “It’s a little frustrating for them, but they’ve got to realize what they’re competing against in some of those spots.”
Hancock also noted the wind, which made the day difficult for players on both sides of the net.
“That was not great,” Hancock said, “but east Helena is battling in it too.”
Overall, Hancock said her team is making progress it quickly approaches the postseason.
“We’ve just got to keep plugging away,” the coach said. “I don’t feel we did great today, but I think we’re getting the competitiveness and the experience we need. We’re sticking in there and we’re improving with each meet. We’ve got to keep getting better these last few weeks.”
The Maroons are back in action May 14 when they play host to Stevensville in a Southwestern A battle.
East Helena 4, Butte Central 3
Amber Stevenson, E. Helena, def. Maycee Anderson 6-2, 6-2
Mollie Drew, BC, def. Kayleigh Queen 6-2, 4-6, 10-8
Janell Taylor, E. Helena, def. Maycee Anderson 9-7
E. Helena wins by forfeit
Mary Neiderstcot/Bailey Bergum, E. Helena, def. Payton Hartwick/Sage Wall 6-2, 6-3
Miranda Murray/Meredith Varady, BC, def. MacKenzie Baily/Morgan Schwayer 6-2, 2-6, 12-10
Kate Johnston/Lucy Kelly, BC, def. Gianna Gutowsky/Zoe Bihler 6-3, 6-3
Mollie Drew, BC, def. Taylor Handley 8-5
Kate Johnson/Lucy Kelly def. Jordan Murgel/Ashley Hauer 8-1
Payton Hartwick/Lucy Kelly def. Emma Stapley/Stella Duran 8-4
East Helena 6, Butte Central 1
Connor Brown, E. Helena, def. Jim Bradshaw 6-0, 6-1
Justin Brewer, E. Helena, def. Patrick Stimatz 6-1, 6-1
Corbin Reighard, E. Helena, def. Trevor Phillips 6-1, 6-0
Walker Young, E. Helena, def. def. Coy Campbell 7-5, 6-4
Cameron Mitchell/Krystia Higgins, E. Helena, def. Drew Badovinac/Gage Guldseth 6-3, 6-3
Eric Hart/Nick Lester, BC, def. Devon Champayne/Walker Young 6-1, 6-2
Connor Brown/Justin Brewer, E. Helena, def. Justus McGee/Owen McPartland 6-2, 6-2
Corbin Reighard, E. Helena, def. Enrico Oriesek 6-1, 6-0