2017-10-12 / Sports

Div. 2 boys’ tennis regionals take court Saturday in Midland

By Lisa Paine
810-452-2626 • lpaine@mihomepaper.com

Flushing’s Scott Branham makes the return shot at No. 3 Singles. 
Photo by Todd Boone Flushing’s Scott Branham makes the return shot at No. 3 Singles. Photo by Todd Boone MIDLAND – After a second-place finish in the Flint Metro League, the Flushing boys’ tennis team is poised to try to survive the gauntlet that is the Div. 2 regional at Midland Dow Saturday.

Teams have to win the regional, place second or earn 18 points to advance to the state meet. The winner and runner up at No. 1 Singles also earn an automatic spot at the state meet.

Host Dow, ranked No. 2 in Div. 2, is Flushing’s biggest hurdle. Metro League rival Swartz Creek is also in the mix and finished in fifth place in the Metro League race. Alpena, Bay City Central, Bay City Western, Mt. Pleasant and Saginaw-Saginaw Arts & Sciences Academy are all unranked and also looking to make the state cut.

Flushing has already beaten Swartz Creek 7-1 this season, so the two schools aren’t looking too far ahead. They know they will have to battle Midland hard in order to earn key points, let alone move on to the state meet. Also standing in the way? Bay City Western, which won the Bay County Championships last week and Bay City Central. Western earned 17 points and Bay City Central 11.

The No. 1 Singles players that could move on alone include Flushing’s Andrew Kearney and Swartz Creek’s Brendon Soth, both veteran players.

Flushing’s lineup also includes Jake Besko at No. 2 Singles, Scott Branham at No. 3 and Austin Shepp at No. 4. Doubles teams include Zack Mills/Josh Stemczynski at No. 1, Matt Birchmeier/Jack Killingbeck at No. 2, Chase Ward/Grant Young at No. 3 and Torey Barber/Jared Bissonnette at No. 4.

Swartz Creek’s lineup includes Jacob Pitcher at No. 2 Singles, Drew Yaklin at No. 3 and Ichiro Austin at No. 4. Doubles tandems are John Hill/ Nick Rigdon at No. 1, Gabe Thomas/ Hunter Curtis at No. 2, Hunter Moore/ Ethan Irish at No. 3 and Joseph Paulsen/Clayton Wistuba at No. 4.

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