The dream of a state title is still alive for Belleville East seniors Chase Stumne and Jacob Hamilton at the IHSA boys state tennis tournament..
After dropping just one game in their first two matches, Stumne and Hamilton cruised to a 6-1, 6-3 win over Michael Butler and Kevin Hunt of Mundelein Carmel in their third-round doubles match on Thursday, advancing them to the final 16 for the second straight year in suburban Chicago.
Winners of the Southwestern Conference Tournament and Belleville West Sectional the past two weeks, Hamilton and Stumne will take on Colin Sandgren and Lucas Horve of Decatur Lutheran in a fourth-round winners’ bracket match at Buffalo Grove High School on Friday at 8 a.m.
A win would move the Lancers seniors into the state quarterfinals later in the day.
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“They are kind of an unknown. Nobody knows much about them, except that they are obviously playing some pretty good tennis,’’ East coach Dan Skaer said of Sandgren and Horve. “I guess we’ll see when we play them in the morning.
“I thought both Chase and Jacob played well today. They weren’t pushed at all until the second set of their last match today.”
While Stumne and Hamilton are the metro-east’s only remaining players who are still playing in the main draw, several others advanced to play in the consolation bracket on Friday or were still playing late consolation round matches late Thursday.
Winning three matches Thursday were Belleville West sophomores Drew Boyles and Derek Henke and Joe Mezo and Carson Ware in doubles and Mascoutah freshman Andy Graf, O’Fallon freshman Dominic Macaluso and Edwardsville sophomore Erik Weiler in singles.
Several other local players had not had their fourth matches of the first day of competition posted as of early Thursday evening.
Singles players eliminated included Riley Muren of O’Fallon, Austin Klug and Kobi Phillips, both of Belleville East, Luke Motley of Edwardsville, Zac Plocher of Highland and Carlos Marascia of Mascoutah.
Among those making early exits in doubles were Triad’s Tanner Massa and Caleb Fagan, O’Fallon’s Matt Lloyd and Jon Garry and also Neal Shekar and Shree Patel, Ian Burger and Nick Harry of Belleville West and Clayton Baldus and Sam Kellow of Belleville East.