By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Bedford North Lawrence’s Cameron Gratzer and Wyatt Scherschel combined to dish out stinging body shots, but North Daviess finished on its feet as the Stars dropped to the asphalt.
The Cougars swept the singles to clip the Stars 3-2 on Monday afternoon, snipping BNL’s two-match winning streak before momentum could truly blossom.
BNL (5-6) was the aggressor on the doubles courts, winning a pair of tough contests. The turning points were in the lower singles as the Cougars won two first sets with late service breaks and maintained that control in the second halves of both battles.
“We’re playing well enough, but we have to get some of them going,” BNL coach Donnie Thomas said. “I thought we could rip off a few wins in a row here, but I knew they would be pretty good.”
The Stars were good in pairs. Gratzer and Scherschel were punishers at the net, cracking volleys of the bodies of Hayden Parisien and Aric Wade (unintentionally, of course). Gratzer took a return shot off his torso, gladly sacrificing a bruise for a victory.
That BNL duo, playing together for only the third time, posted a 6-2, 6-3 triumph. “We’re starting to get the flow together,” Gratzer said.
Scherschel, a senior now mentoring a sophomore partner, has had three different teammates in three weeks, but Thomas likes this combination.
“It’s been different,” Scherschel said. “We’re getting the ball rolling. We’re getting better and better as we play a lot. Practice is the key, just knowing what they’re going to do, what their next shot will be.”
Next to them, the No.2 duo of Steven Graham and Konley Woodward went the distance to conquer Brooks Helms and Brecklin Byrer 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.
BNL couldn’t come up with a singles point. Jaylen Mullen cruised past Cade Provo 6-0, 6-1 at No.1, Markus Britton fought off Adam Tlustek 7-5, 6-2 at No.2, and Colin Kemp clipped Graham Turner 7-5, 6-3 at No.3.
“We were competitive and very easily could have won those,” Thomas said of the bottom two singles. “Both of them were slow and methodical.”
BNL will have to pick up the pace on Tuesday when it hosts Columbus East.
North Daviess 3, BNL 2
Singles – 1. Jaylen Mullen, ND d. Cade Provo 6-0, 6-1; 2. Markus Britton, ND d. Adam Tlustek 7-5, 6-2; 3. Colin Kemp, ND d. Graham Turner 7-5, 6-3
Doubles – 1. Cameron Gratzer and Wyatt Scherschel, BNL d. Hayden Parisien and Aric Wade 6-2, 6-3; 2. Steven Graham and Konley Woodward, BNL d. Brooks Helms and Brecklin Byrer 6-3, 3-6, 6-2