By Gene Phelps/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Warner Creekmore didn’t feel like a champion at first.
New Albany’s tennis coach watched her Bulldogs raced to four straight victories in less than an hour Monday to secure a Class 4A state team championship in tennis at Bridges Tennis Center.
“We won four courts right away,” she said. “I thought it was supposed to feel different, but our first four courts were not that close.”
New Albany eventually defeated St. Stanislaus 4-3 to give the program its first state title under the team-play format, which is in its third year.
“It feels good,” Creekmore said. “It’s good to know all the hard work has paid off.”
Luke Wilson and Callie Creekmore won their singles matches – Wilson 6-1, 6-1 against Charlie Pritchard, and Creekmore 6-0, 6-1 against Emily McGarity to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 advantage.
The No. 2 boys doubles team of Devin Mills and Luke Lawrence won 6-1, 6-0 while the girls No. 2 doubles team of Anne Maxwell and Emily Carol Alef prevailed 6-3, 6-2.
New Albany’s No. 1 girls doubles and mixed doubles units lost in third-set tiebreakers.
Chargers win 5A
Oxford defeated West Jones 5-2 to win its first 5A state championship and its third straight overall.
The Chargers, who have now won 107 consecutive matches dating back to 2004, won the previous two 4A state titles.
“We develop a lot of players in this community,” Oxford coach Louis Nash said. “They like what we do here and they’re proud of us. We’re more than happy to make them proud.”
The Chargers won the championship without the services of two starters, who were suspended.
Corinth, TCPS fall
Corinth’s quest for a sixth consecutive state title, and a 15th overall, ended with a loss in a third-set tiebreaker in girls No. 1 doubles.
St. Andrews, which had won six straight 2A state championships, won its first in 3A by defeating the Warriors, 4-3.
“I knew it was going to be close,” Corinth coach Lynn Wood said. “It could have gone either way.
“I’m proud of my kids. They’re upset because Corinth has a tradition going, but Corinth will bounce back.”
Tupelo Christian Prep, playing in its first season as a member of the MHSAA, lost 7-0 to defending state champion Hattiesburg Sacred Heart in Class 1A.
The loss didn’t disappoint Eagles coach Tony Milam.
“This is the first time TCPS has competed for a state championship,” he said. “We had a great year and I had a bunch of good kids. I’m proud of them.”