Park Hill tennis 2nd at Northland Invite; Platte County earns share of Blue Division title

Park Hill continued to show off its postseason potential with a runner-up showing in the regular season’s final tournament.

With all four entries placing in the top four, the Trojans came in second Saturday, May 7 in the Suburban Conference North Invitational, moved back a week due to inclement weather the previous weekend. They put both doubles teams in the finals and earned the B Doubles championship to finish eight points back of Liberty in the nine-team final standings.

Joel Lesher and Chandler To dominated all three matches as the top seed in B Doubles, winning 10-2 in each to take the title for Park Hill. Henry Eckold and Ryan Moise — the A Doubles team — also advanced to the championship match but lost 10-5 to Liberty’s Aaron Burson and Aidan Bishop.

Both of Park Hill’s singles entries ended up in the third place match after semifinal losses. Matt Zhang lost 10-8 to North Kansas City’s Jack Pio, but Zhang came back to dominate the B Doubles third place match against St. Joseph Central’s Josh Fangman. Park Hill’s Grant Martin lost his final two matches to finish fourth in A Singles.

Platte County went without an A Singles entry and finished eighth with 14 points. The Pirates’ best showing came from Andy Day and Noah Singer in B Doubles. After a first round win, the duo lost to eventual champions Lesher and To 10-2.

Day and Singer then won two more to take the consolation title, earning the fifth place spot with an 8-6 win against Truman’s Mason Adrales and Keegan Welch.

Platte County’s Zack Regan won one match in B Singles, while Josh Timmons and Spencer Klopfer advanced to the second round in A Singles, losing to Eckold and Moise and then bowing out with a consolation loss.

Liberty 6, Park Hill 3

The Trojans bid to win the Suburban Conference Red Division title came up short Thursday, May 5 in Liberty, Mo.

Both teams entered unbeaten, and Liberty went 2-1 in doubles matches and 4-2 in singles to earn the win. All six singles matches were decided by three games or less with Martin winning 11-9 at No. 4 and Zhang winning 10-8 at No. 6 for Park Hill.

Eckold and Jake McFee, who both lost tight singles matches, earned the Trojans’ lone win in doubles, an 8-4 triumph in the No. 1 match vs. Owen Mulcahy and Kellan Campbell.

Park Hill 7, Park Hill South 2

In a special night matchup, the Trojans prevailed in front of a strong crowd at Barry Park in Kansas City, Mo.

The dual started at 7 p.m., and Park Hill coach Rustin Reys called it the most well-attended matchup in his time at the helm. The Trojans went 4-2 in singles and then closed out the match with a sweep of doubles.

McFee (No. 2), Martin (No. 4), Lesher (No. 5) and Zhang (No. 6) were the singles winners for Park Hill. JD Nassab won 10-5 at No. 1 singles for Park Hill South over Eckold, while Joey Badalucco squeaked out an 11-9 victory against To at No. 3 for the Panthers’ other win.

Park Hill lost just 10 games total in doubles.

The win for Park Hill came after a 9-0 loss Friday, April 29 to Rock Bridge, a state runner-up last year and a top-four finisher in Class 2 each of the past 14 seasons. The Trojans (16-3) were the top seed for the Class 2 District 15 tournament and opened play against Winnetonka on Tuesday, May 10 in a semifinal, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.

Park Hill South closed the regular season at 9-6, beating Truman 6-3 on Thursday, May 5 to close Red Division play at 3-2. The Panthers have the No. 2 seed behind Park Hill and open district play against North Kansas City in a semifinal scheduled for Tuesday, May 10, but the result was not available at The Citizen’s deadline.

Platte County 7, Grandview 2

The Pirates celebrated senior day Tuesday, May 3 at North Kansas City District Activities Complex in Kansas City, Mo. and then later in the week found out they earned a share of the Suburban Conference Blue Division title — the first in program history.

Regan (No. 2), Timmons (No. 3) and Day (No. 4) were victorious in their final regular season dual singles matches, while Timmons teamed with Klopfer for a No. 2 doubles victory and Day and Singer won at No. 3. Jack Doole was also honored, although he was absent due to a prior commitment as a part of the Honor Flight to Washington, D.C. with armed service veterans.

Timmons scored a comeback victory at No. 3.

On Wednesday, May 4, Winnetonka lost to Kearney for the second time this season, resulting in a three-way split of the Blue Division title. Winnetonka swept Platte County, which swept Kearney.

All three teams finished with an 8-2 record.

Kearney 6, Platte County 3

The Pirates couldn’t beat their Blue Division rival a third time when the two met up in the first round of the Class 2 District 16 tournament Monday, May 9 at Oak Park High School in Kansas City, Mo.

Day and Singer won at No. 3 doubles, while Klopfer and Singer were victorious at Nos. 5 and 6 singles for Platte County, but comebacks for Regan and Timmons came up short that were needed for the win. The Pirates won both regular season meetings with Kearney by a score of 5-4.

Platte County finished its season at 10-6.

The Class 2 District 16 individual tournament will be held Saturday, May 14 at Bennett Park in Liberty, Mo. Each team gets two singles and two doubles entries seeking to advance on to individual sectionals.