Park Hill doubles team wins title in relocated, reformatted Central Invitational

Park Hill came away with one individual title in a rescheduled, relocated and reformatted St. Joseph Central Invitational.

Rained out earlier in the year, the tournament ended up being played Friday, April 21 at Barry Park in Kansas City, Mo. with just five teams. Four individual flights were played in a round robin format with overall record determining the champions.

Park Hill’s A doubles team of Cooper Hayes and Chandler To went 4-0 but needed a 9-8 (7-5) tiebreaker to defeat Park Hill South’s Joe Badalucco and Brandon Crabtree, who ended up going just 1-3. Hayes and To went on to play tiebreakers in each of their first three matches but won each time on the way to the title.

In A singles, Park Hill senior Grant Martin went 2-2 and placed third, and in B singles, teammate Lucas Cuni-Mertz also went 2-2 to place third.

The Trojans’ final entry split four matches but ended up fourth. Matt Zhang and Ryan Decker handed Cameron Duello and Joel Braun — the champions from Liberty — their only loss, but Park Hill South’s Jason Jeong and Andrew Robaska beat Zhang and Decker to force a tie for third.

Jeong and Robaska took third based on the head-to-head result.

Park Hill 9, Platte County 0

The Trojans put an end to the Pirates three-match winning streak in a dual Monday, April 24 at Barry Park in Kansas City, Mo.

After a dominant showing in three doubles matches, Park Hill assured the sweep with a few tighter victories in singles. Zhang needed a tiebreaker to hold off Platte County senior Payton Anderson at No. 5 in an 11-10 (7-1) victory.

Platte County’s Spencer Klopfer also hung with Martin at No. 3 with the Park Hill senior prevailing 10-6.

The two teams could be the top two seeds in the upcoming Class 2 District 16 bracket. Park Hill improved to 13-4 overall ahead of a scheduled Wednesday, April 26 dual with state powerhouse Rock Bridge.

Blue Springs South 6, Park Hill 3

The Trojans lost for the first time this season in Suburban Conference Gold Division play Thursday, April 20 in Blue Springs, Mo.

Now 4-1 with one league dual to go, Park Hill won two of three doubles matches with Hayes and To an 8-3 winner at No. 2 while Decker and Zhang earned a hard-fought 9-7 victory at No. 3. Jake McFee won the only singles match for the Trojans 7-5, 6-2 at No. 2.

Park Hill is scheduled to finish Gold Division play in their regular season finale May 2 against Blue Springs.

Park Hill 7, Raymore-Peculiar 2

Playing without McFee, the Trojans earned a comfortable win Tuesday, April 18 in Raymore, Mo.
Hayes , Martin, To and Zhang all won in straight sets in the top four spots, while Decker won by default at No. 5. Hayes and To teamed up for an 8-6 win at No. 1 doubles while Martin and Cuni-Mertz — inserted in the lineup again with McFee nursing a minor knee injury this season — won 8-5 at No. 2 doubles.

Park Hill came into the dual off of a loss to Pembroke Hill the previous week. 

Staley 6, Park Hill South 3

The Panthers won two of three doubles matches but couldn’t finish off a win Thursday, April 20 in Kansas City, Mo.

Jeong and Robaska (8-5) and Michael Verhoeven and Simon Rodewald (8-1) were victorious at Nos. 2 and 3 doubles, respectively for Park Hill South. However, Crabtree’s 9-8 victory at No. 4 singles was the lone win out of six for the Panthers in the other half of the dual.

Park Hill South dropped to 1-8 on the season in duals.

Liberty 9, Park Hill South 0

The Panthers were swept in a Suburban Conference Red Division matchup Tuesday, April 18 at Park Hill South High School in Riverside, Mo. Jeong and Robaska forced a tiebreaker at No. 2 doubles but lost 9-8 (7-2).