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Grangers top Blue Devils to win region title

COLUMBUS – When the LaGrange Grangers lost to the Columbus boys’ tennis team in the regular season, they fell short in two of the three singles matches.

It was a different story in the rematch.

In Tuesday’s Region 2-AAAA championship showdown at Cooper Creek Park, LaGrange swept all three singles matches to beat Columbus 3-2.

Columbus won the two doubles matches, but LaGrange’s dominance in singles made the difference, with Pierce Manning, Wesley Minicozzi and Greg Terry all prevailing.

Manning, who has had a big season at number one singles, won his match in straight sets, beating Harris Cox 6-3, 6-0.

At number two singles, Minicozzi lost the first set to Andy Jung 6-1, but he bounced back to win the second set 6-3.

It came down to a tiebreaker, and Minocozzi outlasted Jung 10-8 to earn the hard-fought win.

It was a similar story at number three singles.

Terry won the first set 6-1 against William Holden, but he lost the second set 6-0, so it was on to a tie-breaker, and Terry won 10-8 to secure the victory.

“Somebody asked Wesley what the difference was, and Wesley said, I thought I could play with that kid,” said LaGrange head coach Kenny Moore. “He just went out there and decided he was going to hit one more ball than that kid hit. And that’s the way Greg always plays. I’m just thankful for them, and so excited.”

At number one doubles, LaGrange’s Baker Skinner and Yongjin Shin fell to James Moon and Akash Shan 6-4, 6-3.

The longest match of the day came at number two doubles, with LaGrange’s Towson Partin and Trace Smith losing a tough one to Oscar Jones and Matthew Park.

Partin and Smith won the first set 7-6 (7-3 in the tiebreaker), and Jones and Park evened the match with a 6-4 win in the second set. In the tiebreaker, Jones and Park outlasted Partin and Smith 13-11.

With Moore at the helm, LaGrange’s tennis program has won in excess of 40 region championships in more than three decades.

This one, Moore noted, is particularly meaningful because LaGrange had to overcome a team it lost to earlier in the season.

“Everyone is special, but when you can win the region, and turn it around from the regular season, it just adds a new layer of gratitude,” Moore said.

CHAMPIONSHIP MATCH

LAGRANGE 3, COLUMBUS 2

No. 1 singles – Pierce Manning (L) beat Harris Cox, 6-3, 6-0

No. 2 singles – Wesley Minicozzi (L) beat Andy Jung, 1-6, 6-3, 10-8

No. 3 singles – Greg Terry (L) beat William Holden, 6-1, 0-6, 10-8

No. 1 doubles – James Moon and Akash Shan (C) beat Baker Skinner and Yongjin Shin, 6-4, 6-3

No. 2 doubles – Oscar Jones and Matthew Park (C) beat Towson Partin and Trace Smith, 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 13-11

SEMIFINALS

LAGRANGE 5, TROUP 0

No. 1 singles – Wesley Minicozzi (L) beat Hiram Kang, 6-2, 6-4

No. 2 singles – Greg Terry (L) beat Zach Taylor, 6-1, 6-1

No. 3 singles – Luke Patton (L) beat Daniel Cho, 6-2, 6-0

No. 1 doubles – Yongjin Shin and Towson Partin (L) beat Hayes Gill and Wesley Bartlett, 6-0, 6-2

No. 2 doubles – Ankit Kumar and Yohan Yoon (L) beat Isaac Andrews and Ty Spradlin, 6-3, 6-2