New Hanover’s Marshal Waren and Chase Horton of Hoggard will be the top two individuals representing the area at next week’s 4A East Regional after Waren took victory over Horton, who retired because of injury with a one-set advantage in the singles final at the Mideastern Conference Tennis Championships on Thursday.
Playing under beautiful conditions on center court at the Althea Gibson Tennis Complex in the heart of Wilmington, Horton took the opening set 6-2, and sat one game away from clinching the match before he started cramping. Waren battled back to 6-6 when Horton was forced to retire because of medical issues.
Waren had taken the two previous matches during regular season with a three-set tiebreak result on March 9, followed by a 6-3, 6-2 victory later in the year. He is 10-1 in singles play this season, while Horton won his 40th career high school match earlier in the day. He also recently signed his letter of intent to continue his athletic career next semester at NCAA Division II Methodist University.
The top three individuals and doubles teams from the conference tournament advance to the regional.
Laney’s Zack Taffer took third in singles with a 6-1, 6-5 win over Miles Hirchak (Hoggard).
Taylor Gaines and Patrick Senior defeated Dom Scialabba and Dillon Cook (Hoggard) 6-5, 6-4 in the doubles final to make it a clean sweep for the Wildcats. The tandem of Lucas McLatchy and Jack Cooper (New Hanover) qualified to regions with a third-place finish.
The Wildcats also earned the dual team title with a perfect 12-0 mark in league play and are awaiting word on its first round opponent in the 4A state tournament.
Finals- No. 1 Caleb Hemphill (SB) def. No. 2 Jason Loher (T) 6-2, 6-2
Doubles: Semifinals- No. 1 Dylan Russ/Noah Pieper (SB) def. No. 4 Mayo/Norton (WB) 6-0, 6-0; No. 6 H. Hemphill/McCuiston (SB) def. No. 2 Aaron Littrell/Hunter Cheney (WB) 4-6, 6-3, 6-4
Finals- No. 1 Russ/Pieper (SB) def. No. 2 H. Hemphill/McCuiston (SB) 6-0, 6-1
TEAM SCORES: No. 1 New Hanover 316; No. 2 Laney 322; No. 3 W. Brunswick 328; No. 4 Hoggard 376; No. Topsail 383; No. 6 South Brunswick 396; No. 7 Ashley 468
New Hanover 5 Ashley 0
Meredith Criner recorded the hat trick and L.B. Shapiro had two assists in a 5-0 shutout for New Hanover.
Sally Sloan and Colleen Martinez also found the back of the net for the Wildcats.
Swansboro 1 Hoggard 0
Laney 2 Topsail 1
Baley Edwards tallied two goals and Sydney Young made six saves to lift Laney 2-1 over Topsail on Thursday.
Alex Butorovich assist Edwards on one of the goals.
Ashley 5 Dixon 2
Evan Laverick went 2-for-3 with a double and run batted in to lead Ashley in a non-conference win 5-2 over Dixon.
Donovan Francis chipped in with a double and 2 RBIs and Price King earned the victory on the mound. King allowed two runs on one hit in four innings of work, while Drake Overton tossed the last three frames to pick up the save.
Ashley is 10-9 overall this season and return home for Senior Recognition Night against Laney on Friday at 6 p.m.
North Brunswick 4 South Brunswick 0
Trey Parrish picked up the win on the mound and Garrett Scoggins had three hits to pace North Brunswick in a 4-0 shutout over South Brunswick on Wednesday.
Ashley 6 Trask 5
North Brunswick 13 Topsail 7
Jessi Williams tossed allowed just three earned runs in seven innings of work and struck out eight to help North Brunswick past Topsail 13-7 on Wednesday night.
Preston Ellenburg went 3-for-4 to pace the Scorpion lineup, while Stacy Fodrie had two hits with 2 RBIs and two runs scored.