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High school tennis: Clutch doubles play helps North Hall girls edge North Oconee for 8-4A championship
North Hall's No. 1 doubles pair of Maggie Perry and Riley Morgan helped it secure the Region 8-4A championship April 11, 2023. Photo by Bob Woodworth

North Hall and Cherokee Bluff both had a good day as the Region 8-4A girls and boys tennis tournaments concluded Tuesday at Madison County High School in Danielsville.

The Lady Trojans took home the biggest prize for all of Hall County’s representative teams, downing Cherokee Bluff in the semifinals before edging North Oconee to take the girls championship.

The Lady Bears bounced back to defeat host Madison County in the consolation match to take third place, while Cherokee Bluff’s boys defeated Madison County in the semifinals before falling to North Oconee in the championship match.

North Hall’s victories were highlighted by Gabby Jenkins and Lilly Perry, who won both their matches on the day at No. 2 and 3 singles respectively.

However, the key match for the Lady Trojans on the day came from the No. 1 doubles team of Maggie Perry and Riley Morgan, who outlasted North Oconee’s Copelan Richardson and Abby Trew for a 6-3,4-6, 6-4 victory that provided the decisive point that clinched the title.

“I don’t think anybody expected (the Lady Trojans to win), but our girls did, “North Hall coach Bob Woodworth said. “It was awesome for them to pull (the title) out.”

The Lady Trojans, who will now host Heritage-Ringgold in the first round of the Class 4A state playoffs next week, also got a victory from Ella Kate Canaday at No. 1 singles in the semifinal match against Cherokee Bluff.

North Hall’s boys dropped both their matches on the day to North Oconee in the semifinals and Madison County in the third-place match, but still qualify for the state playoffs, and will travel to Region 7-4A champion Sonoraville next week in he first round.

For Cherokee Bluff, the boys got a key win from Jett Hewette and Nick Bellew at No. 1 doubles to help key a 3-1 semifinals win over Madison County.

While the Bears (13-4) dropped the championship match to North Oconee 3-0, they will host a home match in the first round of the state playoffs next week against Central-Carrollton.

The Lady Bears (12-5), meanwhile, rebounded well from their semifinal loss to North Hall to defeat Madison County 3-1 and claim the No. 3 seed in the state playoffs.

The No. 2 doubles team of Lauren Murrath and Grace-Blythe Cornett won both their matches on the day.

Cherokee Bluff will travel to Sonoraville for its first round match in the girls state playoffs.

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