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District tennis: Plant girls roll, boys edge Wharton

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Tue. April 1, 2014 | John C. Cotey | Email

TAMPA — The Plant and Wharton tennis teams followed a seemingly yearly script at Tuesday’s Class 4A, District 7 tournament. The Panther girls dominated, while the Plant and Wildcat boys battled it out to the very end.

The end result was a Plant sweep.

The three-time defending state champion Panther girls outscored the opposition 150-22 in games to cruise to a perfect score of 20 points, while the Plant boys came back from a set down in the deciding doubles match to get past the Wildcats 15-14 at Hunter’s Green.

Wharton, which needed to win both doubles matches for the district chapionship, won at No. 1 behind Sam Chaffin and Alek Crnogorac, who also won Nos. 1 and 2 singles, respectively.

But at No. 2, Plant’s Thomas Harmon (the No. 3 singles champ) and Evan Vancavage rallied to clinch the district title, winning 6-7 (6-8), 7-5 and 6-1.

Wharton advances to regionals as runnerup, while Chafin and Crnogorac clinched state berths.

Both Plant teams will host regionals.

Erica Oosterhout, Gabby Rodriguez, Monica Phipps, Lauren Corcoran and Korina Hernandez swept Nos. 1-5 singles matches in the girls competition for the Panthers.

Steinbrenner, which had finalists Grace Korta (No. 1), Maria Mischenko (No. 2) and Kiernan O’Keefe (No. 3), was the runnerup. In No. 1 doubles, Oosterhout and Rodriguez beat Korta and Erika Smitten 6-0, 6-1. Phipps/Corcoran topped Kiernan and Connor O’Keefe 6-1, 6-2.

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