High School Tennis

Newnan wins ‘battle’ against ECHS lineups


East Coweta No. 1 singles player Jasmine Keiler defeated  Newnan’s Gray Griffies in Tuesday’s 4-1 loss to the Lady Cougars. Newnan finished as the No. 2 seed heading into the upcoming region tournament. ECHS finished third. 

Newnan tennis teams swept Region 3-AAAAAA victories on Tuesday in a trip to face rival East Coweta. But coach Hap Hines wasn’t exactly smiling, knowing what’s ahead for his two lineups.

“We won a battle today, but not the war,” Hines said. “We’re going to see them again down the road I can assure you.”

With efforts from its three singles players — among two matches that went to tiebreakers — the Cougars escaped with a 3-2 victory to finish the regular season with the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Region 3-AAAAAA tournament to be played at the Summit Family YMCA on April 14.

Newnan’s boys also earned a first-round bye in the tournament while finishing with a 5-0 record. The Indians enter as the No. 2 seed at 13-5 overall and 4-1 in region play.

It was the second time this season that the rival boys squads played to a 3-2 decision, both times with the Cougars squeaking out a win using tiebreakers in singles play.

On Tuesday, Landon Goolsby battled past East Coweta’s Mitchell Corley 6-1, 2-6 (10-7) in one tiebreaker at No. 2 singles while Newnan’s Mikey Miller also won his tiebreaker 10-7 at No. 3 singles after splitting sets with Indian Moises Escobar 6-1, 2-6.

“That’s what worries me,” Hines said, pointing to longtime East Coweta coach Scott Smith. “He’s a victim of his own creation. When I’m out coaching on the football field in the fall, he’s giving lessons to all of these players. I’ve learned so much from him.”

The Cougars other win came from top singles player William Ballou in a 6-3, 6-2 decision over Indian Matt Byers. Smith and Ballou later traded volleys on the court in a ‘challenge’ match with the East Coweta coach, an accomplished ALTA and USTA player.

Smith’s doubles teams swept as the Indians’ combination of twin brothers Oliver and Andy Truong defeated Stewart Rand and Sam Thomas 6-3, 6-0 at the No. 1 position.

In No. 2 doubles, East Coweta’s tandem of Nick Smith and Jun Kwon also defeated Newnan’s pairing of Dalton Ayers and Bennett Souter 6-3, 6-0.

Newnan’s girls held off East Coweta 4-1 in a match that also included a tiebreaker at No. 2 doubles in a 6-3, 4-6 (10-1) victory by Lindley Hudson and Ansley Knight over East Coweta’s pairing of Raelee Heinz and Michelle Kim.

The Lady Cougars finished the regular season as the No. 2 seed from 3-AAAAAA behind Westlake. East Coweta’s girls head into the postseason tournament seeded third.

Singles players Carly Griffies and Caroline Davis won respective matches for Newnan’s girls at the No. 2 and No. 3 positions. Griffies defeated Priscilla Truong 7-5, 6-2 while Caroline Davis earned a 6-1, 6-0 decision over Lady Indians opponent Gillian Revoir.

East Coweta’s victory came from No. 1 singles player Jasmine Keilerin a 6-4, 6-2 decision over Gray Griffies.

Along with Hudson and Knight, Newnan’s No. 1 doubles team of Lollie Davis and Olivia Dumas earned a 6-4, 6-2 decision over Taylor Morris and Nicole Tansey.

The Lady Indians were coming off a 5-0 win over Langston Hughes last Wednesday.

Newnan closes its regular season today with a trip to the Dan McGill Tennis Complex where teams will play Clarke-Central.

“It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity for them to play at that kind of facility,” Hines said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

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