Home teams dominate sectional tennis tournaments

News-DemocratMay 24, 2014 

Home-court advantage ruled the day as host schools Belleville East, Edwardsville and O'Fallon all won sectional championships in boys tennis on Saturday.

The Lancers won the Belleville East Sectional with 27 points. Belleville West was second with 11 points and Althoff was third with 10.

The Lancers took first place and third place in singles and first place and second place in doubles.

The top four finishers in each divison advance to the boys state tennis tournament, which begins Thursday at sites throughout the suburban Chicago.

Senior Aaron Skaer was the singles champion. Gibaut senior Michael Lesko was second and East sophomore Kobi Phillips placed third.

Althoff senior Austin Mueller came in fourth.

Skaer defeated Mueller 6-4, 6-4, and Lesko 6-1, 7-6 on his way to the title.

Lesko defeated Phillips 6-4, 6-2 in the semifinals. Phillips bounced back and outlasted Mueller 4-6, 6-2, 6-0 in the third-place match

East's Jacob Hamilton and Chase Stumne won the doubles championship. Teammates Spencer Smith and Nick Spitze finished second.

West's Cole Henke and Cole Lewis came in third and Althoff's Joey Bartholomew and Brendan Skinner were fourth.

Hamilton and Stumne beat Bartholomew and Skinner 6-0, 6-2 in the semifinals before dow ning Spitze and Smith 6-2, 6-1 in the final.

The Edwardsville Tigers dominated the Edwardsville Regional by claiming the top two spots in both singles and doubles.

Senior Brandon Harris and freshman Erik Weiler finished 1-2 in singles.

Harris downed Weiler 6-0, 6-1 for the title. Weiler earlier edged Triad's Jake Bennett 7-5, 5-7, 6-4.

Seniors Jack Desse and Logan Ware claimed the doubles title over senior Zach Bryant and junior Jonathan Koons.

Alton's Allan Bower was third and Bennett was fourth in singles, while Alton's double teams of Adam Ruckman and Kain Henson and Carl Stradal and Jackson Scheiter were third and fourth.

The O'Fallon Panthers had the top two doubles squads and placed second and third in singles while winning their own O'Fallon Regional.

The Panthers had a team score of 25. Centralia was second with 15 points.

Senior Nikhil Shekar and sophomore Shree Patel were the doubles champions. Coming in second were junior teammates Matt Lloyd and Jon Garry.

Shekar and Patel beat Loyd and Garry 6-4, 6-4 for the title.

Junior Neal Shekar was second and sophomore Riley Muren was third in singles for the Panthers.

Centralia senior Ben Urshan was the singles champion. He got past Neal Shekar 3-6, 6-1, 6-1 in the championship match.

Centralia's Jake Casner and Caleb Wehking took third in doubles, while Greenville's Grant Suess and Michell Cole placed fourth in doubles.

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