published Saturday, May 3rd, 2014

Makenna Thomas tops teammate Katie Delay for title

Brainerd's Brianna Canty returns the ball during the district 6A/AA tennis championships at the Robert A "Bob" Elmore Memorial Tennis Center in Brainerd on Friday.
Brainerd's Brianna Canty returns the ball during the district 6A/AA tennis championships at the Robert A "Bob" Elmore Memorial Tennis Center in Brainerd on Friday.
Photo by Dan Henry.
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    Hixson's Alex Condra returns the ball against Red Bank's Cody Baugh during the District 6A/AA tennis championships Friday at the Robert A "Bob" Elmore Memorial Tennis Center in Brainerd.
    Photo by Dan Henry.
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CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Fans of the Boyd-Buchanan girls' tennis team were very quiet Friday afternoon during the finals of the District 5-A/AA individual tournament at Lee University. In part because they just didn't know whom to cheer for.

For the second straight season, the girls' singles final came down to teammates Makenna Thomas and Katie Delay. Only this time, the winner changed as Thomas defeated Delay in three sets to win the singles title. Final scores were 6-2, 6-7, 6-1 for Thomas, who along with her teammate and doubles partner will advance to the Region 3 individual tournament on May 12 at the Champions Club.

"It's very awkward playing against her, because I love her," Thomas said. "I still play the same, but it's different because of the ball-calling situation; you don't want to make a call that could be argued. I'm happy I was able to get the win, though; having two players in the finals just shows how good we are as a team. We want to accomplish this every year."

Delay, a 2013 Class A/AA state quarterfinalist, said that at one point the rest of the team tried to cheer for both players but finally gave up because it was "too hard."

"It's not fun at all because we're very good friends," Delay said. "I'm very happy for Makenna -- she deserved it."

Grace Academy's Blake Savard won his fourth consecutive singles title with a straight-set victory over teammate Colt Drennon in the finals. Collegedale swept the doubles titles, as Emily Wilt and Matti Sue Nafie won the girls' title while Spencer Pflug and Ivan Snyder won the boys'.

Others advancing to the region tournament are Boyd-Buchanan's Jake Harden and Grayson Hartness in boys' doubles and Kinsey Anderson and McKaylah Hicks in girls' doubles.

• Central's Alex Bonner was the surprise of the 6-A/AA tournament Friday, coming from the No. 3 seed to claim the individual championship at the Brainerd city courts.

Bonner defeated Hixson's Haylee Gossett and Michelle Phillips, dropping three games in four sets to take the title. Brainerd sophomore twins Brianna and Brittney Canty won the doubles title.

Hixson swept the boys' titles, as Alex Condra won in singles and Carl Phillips and Kevin Nguyen won in doubles.

Red Bank's Cody Schmidt and Daniel Cox also advanced by virtue of their runner-up finish in doubles, as did teammate Josh Reed in singles. Lady Lions Katie Lawson and Rachel Thornbury were the doubles' runners-up.

Contact Gene Henley at ghenley@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6311. Follow him at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.

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