The last five times Raymore-Peculiar and Lee’s Summit West squared off in tennis, the outcome came down to one match, with the Titans winning each time. When the two met Tuesday in the semifinals of the Class 2 District 13 team tournament, the Panthers came up short again.
West ended Ray-Pec’s season with a 5-3 victory at Lee’s Summit West. The Titans were eliminated later in the day with a 5-0 loss to Rockhurst in the district final.
Ray-Pec took two of three doubles matches against West, but a lack of success in singles proved too much for the Panthers to overcome.
“We’ve been nipping at their heels for a little while,” Ray-Pec tennis coach Derek Howard said. “We just haven’t been able to get over the top on them.”
Ray-Pec’s doubles domination included an 8-4 victory by Gavin Cummons and Shawn McDonald in the No. 2 match and another 8-4 win from Logan Daniels and Kobe Bennett at No. 3. Riley Wagner and Chad McElfresh came close to making it sweep by taking Colton Hess and Jake Brady to a tiebreaker in the No. 1 match before falling 8-7 (7-3).
But Wagner would pick up the only Ray-Pec victory in singles, downing Kyle Gerdes 8-4 at No. 2. Cummons lost to Hess 8-1 at No. 1 singles, Daniels fell to Clayton Emma 8-2 at No. 4, Bennett lost to Conner Berens 8-4 at No. 5 and McDonald got beat by Seth Keep 8-6 at No. 6. West clinched the victory before the No. 3 singles match ended.
It was a different outcome, especially in singles, from the last time Ray-Pec played West, Howard said. In that 5-4 West victory last week, Gerdes easily beat Wagner and the Panthers got wins from the lower end of their singles order. Howard thought that would happen again Tuesday.
“Today was strange in that different guys lost and different guys won compared to the match we played a week ago,” Howard said. “You look at your lineup and you think we’re going to get a win at three, a win at six, and it kind of went on its tail today.”
Broncos top Tigers in semis
Lee’s Summit North reached the final of the Class 2 District 14 tournament with a 5-3 victory over Lee’s Summit Tuesday at North.
North had victories in Nos. 4-6 singles, with C.J. McGurk beating Collin Hansen 6-2, 6-4; Jacob Welsh beating Jake Bowne 6-1, 6-4 and Joe Hammerly topping Connor Lovelace 6-1, 6-2. Logan French and Connor Young beat Alec O’Connor and Hansen 8-1 in No. 2 doubles while Hammerly and Ben Durbin topped Lovelace and Luke Cooper 8-6 in No. 3 doubles.
Ethan Henry beat French 6-0, 6-1 in No. 1 singles, O’Connor beat Durbin 6-2, 6-3 in No. 2 singles, and Henry and Bowne downed McGurk and Logan Leslie 8-1 in No. 1 doubles for the Tigers. Lee’s Summit reached the semifinals with a 5-0 victory over Fort Osage in the first round.
North played Blue Springs South for the district title on Thursday after rain postponed the match for one day. The district singles and doubles tournaments will be held today.