The Belleville East doubles team of Jacob Hamilton and Chase Stumne was defeated in the consolation quarterfinals Saturday at the state tennis tournament in suburban Chicago.
Hamilton and Stumne, both juniors, lost 6-3, 6-3 to Lake Forest's Scott Christian and Connor O'Kelly.
"It wasn't that tight (a match)," East coach Dan Skaer said. "They were just better. You get up that high, they're all pretty good.
"(But) it was a little bit better than what we set our goal. They wanted to get into the Top 16, and they got in the Top 12."
Christian and Kelly finished in sixth place after losing to Morton's Grant and Trent Reiman 7-6 (5), 6-3 in the fifth-place match.
Hamilton and Stumne were the first East players in eight years to still be competing on the final day of the tournament.
"I think it's a big deal; it's exciting," Skaer said. "One-hundred twenty-eight teams started the tournament and only 12 played (Saturday). With them being juniors, I'm excited about the prospects of them next year getting better and finishing higher."
The Lancers finished tied for 12th place in the team standings with Morton, Naperville and Neuqua Valley. Each had 14 points.
Edwardsville's doubles team of seniors Jack Desse and Logan Ware also lost in the consolation quarterfinals Saturday. They were eliminated 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 (5) by Deerfield's Chris Casati and Niko Wasilewicz.
"It definitely leaves a scar when you lose a match like that, but it's an honor to be in that situation," Tigers coach Dave Lipe said, referring to the final-set tiebreaker defeat. "Just a couple of points in the tiebreaker (were the difference). Their kids stepped up and played a couple of really great points in the tiebreaker.
"We played with a lot of heart and intensity. We had our chances. But credit Deerfield. They're well-coached and a good team."
Desse and Ware, the top doubles team in the metro-east during the regular season, won their first four matches before falling 6-2, 6-3 to New Trier's Corey Schwartz and Alex Galoustian on Friday. Schwartz and Galoustian finished in third place, defeating Hinsdale Central's Michael Czlonka and James Bruning 6-4, 6-2.
Edwardsville finished eighth in the team standings with 22 points --its fifth top-10 finish since 2000.
"What I find positive is our kids finished eighth as a team, and at the end of the day, we were not happy," said Lipe, pointing out that the Tigers' expectations have risen over the years. "I'm really proud of this team."
Skaer said size and strength are among the biggest advantages owned by the elite players from the Chicago suburbs.
"A lot of these good teams have one guy, maybe two, who have 100-miles per hour serves," Skaer said. "Our guys are a little smaller and don't have the big game. They rely a little more on defense. We get good at defense, but to win state, you've got to have a great offense. Our guys haven't got that yet."