Weather gets best of Bulldog tennis teams

BOZEMAN — Montana’s spring weather was the winner Thursday as the Butte High tennis teams tried to compete in the Five B’s tournament.

The Bulldogs arrived in Bozeman and 8 a.m. only to sit around and wait for a weather window that allowed play to begin. That window, which opened at 11:30, didn’t last long, and play was halted for good after Butte High got in just a few matches against Billings Skyview.

The tournament was supposed to feature the Bulldogs, host Bozeman, Billings Skyview, Billings West and Billings Senior.

“I wish everybody would have had at least one match,” Butte High coach Mavis Bentley said. “The weather would just not cooperate for one hour.”

Brett Bentley and Marcus Madrazo picked up Butte High’s lone victory on the abbreviated tournament.

The Bulldog doubles duo knocked Erik Zunnels and Garrett Van 7-6 (7-5), 6-2.

Blake Casagranda was leading his match against Jacob Saunders. Casagranda won an 11-9 tiebreaker to take the first set 7-6. He was leading 3-2 in the second set when the snow set in.

The Bulldog doubles team of Andy Kelly and Nate Scherman won a set but fell 3-6, 6-3, 10-5 to D.C. Shelgeren and Hammond Kahn.

Bulldog No. 1 singles player Tyler Reilly fell 6-4, 6-2 to Ryan Benge. Bentley, though, liked what she saw in Reilly on Thursday.

“He played really well,” Bentley said. “I said, ‘If you consistently hit the ball like that, you’ll be in the top four.’”

On the girls’ side, the Bulldogs had two matches interrupted in progress.

McKaul Ori and Sierra McGinnis beat Michele Huff and Brianna Buton 6-3 in the first set. The Skyview team led 5-4 in the second set when play was stopped.

Lakyn Ludwick and Molly Springer were closing in on a victory when the snow came. The Butte team beat Rachel Light and Caitlyn VanDyke 6-2 in the first set. Light and VanDyke battled back to take the second set 6-3. Ludwick and Sprunger led 6-5 in the deciding set.

Butte High’s top two girls’ singles players finished matches.

Skyview’s Winti Wilson topped Molly Nelson 6-2, 6-4 in the No. 1 singles match. Butte’s Hannah Amtmann fell 6-2, 6-4 to Katie Hooton in the No. 2 match.

The Bulldogs are back in action on April 11 when Helena High and Helena Capital come to town.