By Brandon Speck/NEMS Daily Journal
JACKSON – Rain put an early end to all-star week but the North finished a successful week with a strong showing on the tennis courts.
The North boys dominated the South with a 6-1 pro set win in the Mississippi Association of Coaches All-Star tennis event on Thursday at Parham Bridges Tennis Center.
The girls side drew a 3-all tie as rain stopped the final – and what would have been deciding – singles match with Lafayette’s Lauren Cullen leading Philadelphia’s Sadie Shields 7-6 , needing only eight to hand the North a rare sweep in the senior event. Rain delayed the day an hour from the start.
“It was a good win. We didn’t think we were going to play,” Lafayette’s Barron Pruitt said. “I just played my hardest and tried to get done before the next rain.”
The shortened format awarded one point to the team winning two of three doubles matches and a point per singles win.
coleman closes career
Catherine Coleman of Corinth was defeated 8-2 by Ocean Springs’ Madeline Wilburn in singles play but the former Lady Warrior ended her decorated career as an all-star, a career that includes a state team title and three individual titles.
“It’s been really fun. I’ve enjoyed hanging out with everybody and getting to know everybody. It’s been great fun,” Coleman said of the all-star experience.
Lafayette coach Debbie Swindoll already knew what it was like coaching good players. As North coach Thursday along with Union’s Bryan Norman, she coached three of her own players – Cullen, Barron Pruitt and Mallory Davis – as well as NeMiss players Coleman and Corinth teammate Austin McElwain and Oxford’s Ann Marie Edlin.
Rain didn’t allow for any practice time on Wednesday.
“It was a great experience, fun,” Swindoll said. “We learned a lot. It’s fun coaching good tennis players.”
McElwain and Pruitt each won their singles matches 8-0 and both were on winning doubles teams. Davis won her singles match 8-2.
The North won all-star events in volleyball Tuesday and girls basketball Wednesday.
“It’s individual but it’s also a team,” Pruitt said. “I love having the North win over the South anytime.”