After a grueling two-month season, the chance for a top-five finish at the state tennis tournament remains a possibility for two metro-east doubles combinations heading into the final day of competition in suburban Chicago.
The Belleville East tandem of Jacob Hamilton and Chase Stumne rebounded from a tough fourth-round loss to win two consolation round matches while Edwardsville's Jack Desse and Logan Ware split a pair of matches Friday.
Both teams will play consolation-round matches and could place as high as fifth with two more wins.
Stumne and Hamilton lost to Corey Schwartz and Alex Galoustian, of (Winnetka) New Trier 6-4, 6-2 in their fourth-round match, but defeated Wesley Lo and Daniel Delgrosso of Naperville Central 6-3, 6-3 in a sixth-round consolation match.
Hamilton and Stumne then became the first East entry in eight years to be playing on the final day when they edged Jack Bernstein and Jack Wennerstrum of (LaGrange) Lyons 6-4, 6-3 in their next match.
"The scores may not indicate it, but both matches Jacob and Chase won this afternoon (Friday) were very good matches that could have gone either way. We won the big points when we needed too,'' East coach Dan Skaer said. "Hopefully, they can finish well and come back placing fifth in the state.''
Edwardsville, which is in eighth place in the team competition, lost singles player Brandon Harris and the doubles team of Zach Bryant and Jonathan Koons in consolation-round play, but still have sectional champions Desse and Ware alive.
The top doubles team in Southern Illinois all season, Desse and Ware won their fourth-round match 6-2, 7-6 against Jack Bernstein and Jack Wennerstrum of Lyons, but were defeated by Corey Schwartz and Alex Galoustian of New Trier 6-2, 6-3 in the quarterfinals.
"That was a big match, because if we win it's four more points and we're in the top five teams,'' Tigers coach David Lipe said. "The New Trier team is very talented. I thought we played very well in spots and not so good in others.''
"But it's been a good week and a great season. I'm very proud of these boys. They've worked very hard to get to this point.''
Also dropping consolation-round matches was the combination of Cole Lewis and Cole Henke of Belleville West.
Dropping consolation-round singles matches were Jake Bennett of Triad and Allan Bower of Alton.