The magic finally ended for the Barstow girls tennis team on Thursday in the title match of the Missouri Class 1 state tournament at the Cooper Tennis Complex.
Barstow had knocked off three teams with a combined 49-1 record in the postseason, all by 5-0 scores, to get a chance at defending-champion John Burroughs.
And Barstow gave the Bombers all they could handle before falling 5-2. The match lasted over three hours and was much closer than the score indicated.
After beating Marshall in the sectional round and Maryville in the quarterfinals, Barstow defeated previously unbeaten Springfield Catholic in the semifinals Thursday morning.
John Burroughs defeated Mary Institute-Country Day School 5-0 in the other semifinal and was a distinct favorite going into the title match.
But Barstow made things very interesting after winning two of the three doubles matches to open the match. Janie King and Amelia Smith won at No. 1 doubles, while Emma Shapiro and Hanah Tadros were victorious at No. 2 doubles.
“Doubles has carried us all season and it was great to get the lead, although I knew it would be very tough in singles,” Barstow coach Tom O’Brien said.
John Burroughs quickly bounced back for a 3-2 lead with wins at No. 5 and 6 singles from Julia Riew and Sriya Bandi.
But the other four matches would last deep into the cold late afternoon.
Sydney Lister gave the Bombers a 4-2 lead with a hard-fought 7-6, 6-1 win at No. 4 doubles over Barstow’s Smith.
There was no room for error at that point, and Barstow battled until the end. King and Shapiro each battled back after losing a first set and being behind in the second set to force third sets. And Tadros had a set point before falling in the first set at No. 2 singles. It was that close.
Freshman Gaby Thornton finally closed it out for John Burroughs with a 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 win over King at No. 1 singles.
“We pushed them to the edge, and I could not have expected that,” O’Brien said. “It is no doubt the best we have played all season. We got everything out of the tank. That is what happens when you have good seniors.”
Four of the top five Barstow players were seniors: King (No. 1); Shapiro (No. 3); Smith (No. 4); and Lena Wencker (No. 5).
“We knew that it was going to be really hard to beat this team,” said King, who played the last two years at Barstow after transferring from Notre Dame de Sion. “But we came in with a positive attitude and gave it our all. I am so happy that we played so well here my senior year.”
LS West takes second in Class 2
Lee’s Summit West made it to the team championship match in Class 2 after a 5-1 win over Springfield Central in the semifinals Thursday morning.
The Titans lost in the championship match to Columbia Rock Bridge 5-0. It was the third consecutive team title for the Bruins, who have been in the title match every year since 2009.
“We played one of our best matches of the season this morning,” Lee’s Summit West coach Todd Wilson said. “We knew what we were in for against Rock Bridge. They are a fantastic team. We competed and battled and put our best foot forward. This was our best season in Titan history.”
Lee’s Summit West finished the season with an 18-5 record. The Titans won 16 of their last 18 matches with both losses coming against Rock Bridge.