05/04/05 — Court date: Lovelady-Wilson III set for today

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Court date: Lovelady-Wilson III set for today

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 4, 2005 2:03 PM

SNOW HILL -- Despite waiting five-plus hours to play their one singles match Tuesday evening, the top-seeded players in the Class 1-A Carolina Conference are where they belong -- in the finals.

Spring Creek junior Cliff Wilson and Rosewood senior Wesley Lovelady meet for the third time this season in today's title match on the Snow Hill Tennis Complex courts. Wilson advanced with a 6-1, 6-0 victory against Rosewood's J.P. Cummins. Lovelady ousted the Gators' Justin Wilson 6-2, 6-1.

Wilson (18-2) won the previous two meetings with Lovelady, who is the reigning Carolina Conference champion. Both players qualified for next weekend's N.C. High School Athletic Association eastern regionals at Herman Park.

The coaches placed just six players in the singles draw, which gave Wilson and Lovelady a first-round bye. Because of the abundance of 2-A singles and doubles matches, neither player attempted their first serve until after twilight had engulfed the 12-court facility.

"You don't like seeing them sit around that much," Rosewood coach Bert Perkins said.

Rosewood's doubles of Joey Churchwell-Brandon Hietpas earned a regional bid with a first-round 6-3, 6-3 victory against Farmville Central's Charlie Grey-Toko Janashvili. However, the Eagle tandem struggled in their second-round match and fell 6-3, 6-2 to the Jaguars' No. 1 duo of Ben Adam-James Newsome.

"The doubles of Churchwell-Hietpas is a little disappointing because they didn't play that well today," Perkins said. "They haven't played much together this year, but they can play better. I expect they'll work that out and play better tomorrow."

Fellow Eagles Ty Johnson-Daniel Ellis stumbled in their regional qualifying encounter against Spring Creek's James Potts-Ricky Galloway. Johnson-Ellis took the first set before Potts-Galloway rallied for a 2-6, 6-3, 6-0 win.

Johnson-Ellis face the Gators' Brandon Strickland-Phat Tran for the conference's final regional spot this afternoon. Strickland-Tran dumped Grey-Janashvili 5-7, 6-1, 6-2 in their second match of the day.

Potts-Galloway advanced to the tournament championship with a three-set conquest of Farmville's Matt Howard-David Newton. The Spring Creek duo won the first set 6-3 and cruised ahead 5-0 in the second set.

Howard-Newton eventually tied the set at 6-6 and won the tiebreaker 7-4. Potts-Galloway trailed 3-2 in the third before pulling out the 6-3, 6-7 (4), 6-4 win.

Fourth-year Gators coach Robert Jones offered no comment on his team's effort on the day.

Meanwhile, Perkins' lauded his team's performance in singles.

Cummins defeated Ayden-Grifton's A.J. Hardison 6-1, 6-4 and secured a spot in the regionals. Meanwhile, Smith easily handed Ayden-Grifton's Eric Dendy a 6-3, 6-3 in their regional qualifier.

Dendy later defeated Hardison to claim the conference's final regional singles bid.

Farmville Central (13-5) grabbed the Carolina No. 1 seed for next week's NCHSAA dual-team playoffs. It's the Jaguars' first postseason appearance since 2000 when it competed in the EPC.

Spring Creek (11-7) defeated Rosewood in a playoff match Monday and clenched the No. 2 seed. The Gators drew an opening-round bye since the Super Six Conference is not sponsoring boys' tennis this spring.