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Gilmer sweeps in first round of Region 7-AAA tennis tournament
Lady Bobcats beat West Hall; Bobcats best East Hall
East Hall’s Dane Allen charges to net to reach a volley during Tuesday afternoon’s match with Gilmer at Alberta Banks Park during the Region 7-AAA tennis tournament.
FLOWERY BRANCH — For Gilmer coach Mike Putnam, Tuesday was a good day on the tennis courts.

His girls team, the sixth seed out of Region 7A-AAA, advanced to the second round of the Region 7-AAA tournament with a 5-0 win against West Hall, the seventh seed out of Region 7B-AAA.

And thanks to a three-set win by the No. 2 doubles team of Jacob Smith and Todd Healey, so did the boys, who beat East Hall 3-2 on Tuesday at Alberta Banks Park in Flowery Branch.

The Lady Bobcats will face the third seed out of Region 7B-AAA, Flowery Branch, at 10 a.m. today at Alberta Banks Park. The Gilmer boys, seeded sixth out of Region 7A-AAA, will face the third seed out of Region 7B-AAA, West Forsyth, at 11:30 a.m. today at Alberta Banks Park.

“First off it was good to finally have a match after spring break,” Putnam said. “It was a good chance to get the rust off.

“For both of our teams to be in the second round feels pretty good too.”

The Bobcats game against East Hall came down to the last set of the last match because of a 2-2 tie.

Gilmer’s Derek Hyatt beat Patricio Cruz (6-0, 6-2) in No. 1 singles and Parker Johnson bested Carlos Delacruz (6-3, 6-3) in No. 3 singles.

For East Hall, Dane Allen beat Caleb Adams (6-2, 6-2) in No. 2 singles and the No. 1 doubles team of Chaz Cheeks and Peter Trong topped Spencer Morris and Andrew Mabry (6-3, 6-3).

East Hall’s No. 2 doubles team of Stephen Pope and Sebastian Villa rallied to win 6-4 in the second set after Gilmer won the first, 6-3.

The duo, who only first played tennis in January, ran out of steam in the third set, however, and Smith/Healey came away with the set and match to give Gilmer the win.

“They’ve got something down deep that others don’t have, that’s what this match says about (Pope/Villa),” East Hall coach Joe Bagwell. “I told them how proud I was of them to play the way they did.

“It was a true testament to how far they’ve come and we have a lot to look forward to next year.”

According to Putnam, the way his doubles team had to fight to win will benefit them down the road.

“It’ll help them a lot,” said Putnam of his sophomore duo. “If not in the match tomorrow, then definitely down the road.

“We’ve got a tough one (today against West Forsyth) though; they’re good.”

In the girls win, Claudia Penland won 6-0, 6-1 at No. 1 singles, Anna Hensley won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 singles, Ryan Morris won 6-4, 6-1 at No. 3 singles, Cheyennne Frady and Mariah Henderson won 6-1, 6-2 at No. 1 doubles and the team of Courtney Davis/Carey Holzworth won 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2 doubles.

“We only have one senior so this was a good win for us,” Putnam said. “We had several young girls come through today.
“Flowery Branch is going to be really good though and it’s going to be a tough one for us. Right now, though, we’re going to
celebrate being in the second round and all we can do is come out (today) and battle them.”
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