Meridian's Ray falls in MHSAA boys title match

By By Richard Dark/The Meridian Star
May 2, 2001
JACKSON David Ray entered the Class 5A tennis final sporting an unblemished slate.
But Madison Central's Jon Hill had other ideas.
Hill took full advantage of a worn down Ray and captured the boys tennis championships at Parham Bridges tennis center with a three-set win, 7-5, 4-6, 6-3.
Hill, the top-ranked player in the state, avenged an earlier loss to Ray with the win. The Meridian High sophomore finished the season at 19-1.
Ray began the final morning of the tournament with a grueling semifinal match against Hattiesburg's Wren Hood. Hood extended Ray to three sets before losing 6-4, 4-6, 6-4.
Meridian's girls doubles team was seeking a second straight title Tuesday. Erin Brown, one half of last year's championship tandem, and Lena Hellms were denied a shot at this year's title, losing in the morning semis to Northwest Rankin's Mandy Legg and Kristen Preble, 7-5, 6-4.
Legg and Preble are not only Division 5-5A rivals, but they also lost to Brown and the departed Brittney Peek in last year's final.
Meridian came up empty in state titles this year, but since 1991, the school has won 11 individual crowns and three team titles.
In the team standings, Madison Central won the 5A title handily. MHS finished fifth, with only five points.
Class 4A: Northeast Lauderdale's Zack Olczak and John Kueven had their amazing 2001 run abruptly ended when they were dropped in the semifinals by Cleveland's duo of Brian Powell and Brad Hutchinson, 6-2, 6-2.
In the girls singles bracket, Neshoba Central's Leigh Jackson was shut out in the morning match by Brittney Serrett, 6-0, 6-0.
Class 3A: Forrest's Kelly Boutwell def. New Albany's Iian Selhausen, 6-4, 6-3 to advance to the finals for the second straight year. Boutwell was denied a second straight 4A crown, however, when Shannon's Casey Vinson blanked her 6-0, 6-0 in the final match.
Shannon's Casey Vinson shut out Newton County's Britley Kimbriel, 6-0, 6-0. Cougar Jarrod Scoggins eased past New Albany's Kyle Davis, 6-2, 6-0.
But he was also denied a title when Shannon High's Jordan Jones beat him 6-2, 6-1 in the championship.
Richard Dark is a sports writer for The Meridian Star. You can call him at 693-1551, ext. 3234 or e-mail him at rdark@themeridianstar.com.

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