SALINA CENTRAL YOUNGSTERS PREVAIL
At Hesston, Mustangs coach Mike Goll took six freshmen to the Hesston Invitational and they played like seasoned upperclassmen.
Salina Central won the team championship with 38 points, easily outpacing runner-up Hesston, which had 29 points. Smoky Valley was third with 26 points.
Brady Stack was victorious in all three of his matches and won No. 2 singles. Max Shaffer was 2-1 and placed third in No. 1 singles. Aidan Speer and Brooks Burgoon went 2-1 in No. 2 doubles and placed second while McCabe Green and Chase Courbot placed third with a 2-1 record in No. 1 doubles.
The Mustangs are back in action on Thursday as they travel to Andover for the Andover Central Invitational.
DOUBLES TEAMS LEAD MUSTANGS
At Andover, Salina Central won both doubles divisions Thursday on the way to the Andover Central Invitational team championship. The Mustangs finished with 28 points to 26 for runner-up Andover Central.
Will Hayes and Reed McHenry went 3-0 without dropping a game on the way to the No. 1 doubles title, while Carson Michaelis and Keaton Beach won all three of their matches in No. 1 doubles.
The Mustangs also got a second- place finish from Austin Beatty (2-1) in No. 2 singles and fourth from Nathan Foth (1-2) in No. 1 singles.
Salina Central will play host to a five-team Duels Tournament Saturday.
MUSTANGS BREEZE TO TOURNAMENT TITLE
Even when they weren’t performing at peak efficiency, Will Hayes and Reed McHenry were sound enough to win their first three matches Saturday in the Salina Central Duels tournament.
But with the No. 1 doubles title on the line against Maize South’s Jack Jewett and Noah Spurgeon, they found another gear.
“We knew the Maize South team was good and we knew we had to bring it,” Hayes said after teaming with McHenry for an 8-2 victory while also helping Salina Central to the team championship. “In our second match, against Ark City, the wind picked up and we really struggled getting used to it. “We knew in the last match with had to acclimate better, and we did. Reed played some great returns and our serves were really on.”
Under the new tournament format, five teams played a round robin of four duals, featuring four singles and three doubles matches.
Central dominated by winning at least six matches in each round. “It gives us a chance to see everyone in one location on a Saturday and it’s a great test of your depth,” Central coach Mike Goll said of the dual format. “We’re really deep this year and we have a lot of talented freshmen.”
This was the first time for the duals tournament after last year’s scheduled debut was rained out. Conditions were not much better this time, with a cold northerly wind throughout. Central won with a 4-0 record, followed by Derby at 3-1 and Maize South at 2-2.
All seven Mustang entries received medals for toptwo individual finishes. “We feel good about the way we started at home,” said Hayes, a senior on a team dominated by freshmen. “I remember when I was a freshman and the seniors were like adults and we were really small, but these guys are huge and they’re really good.”
Hayes and McHenry, a freshman, dropped their first game against previously unbeaten Jewett and Spurgeon, but quickly took control by winning the next four. “We hit our groundstrokes a lot better,” McHenry said. “In the other matches we hadn’t been broken once, so we served well, but our groundstrokes and returns weren’t as good.”
McHenry and Reed won one of four gold medals for Central, which also got first-place finishes from senior Nolan Foth in No. 3 singles, freshman Aidan Speer in No. 4 singles and seniors Carson Michaelis and Keaton Beach in No. 3 doubles.
In No. 1 singles, Central freshman Max Shaffer’s lone loss was an 8-2 decision against Arkansas City’s Pierce Klaassen, who dropped only one game total in his other three matches. “I was very happy with the way I played,” Shaffer said. “It was a little tough at points, but I got through it. “It’s a lot more competition (at the high school level) and it was good experience playing (Klaassen) because he got third at state last year. I was glad I was able to get a few games on him.”
Goll concurred. “It was great experience for Max,” he said. “He’s going to do nothing but get better each time he steps on the court.”
The other second-place finishers for Central were freshman Brady Stack in No. 2 singles and freshmen McCabe Green and Chase Courbot in No. 2 doubles, also with 3-1 records.
The biggest challenge the Mustangs faced was the elements on a cold, gloomy day when the wind never let up. “We talked about that,” Goll said. “During the offseason they play indoors a lot, so making the switch to outdoors takes time. “For some of our guys it has taken three full weeks.”
MUSTANGS DOMINATE AT NEWTON
At Newton, Salina Central’s Max Shaffer won the singles competition and Will Hayes and Reid McHenry captured the doubles title at the Newton Invitational.
The Mustangs easily won the team title, compiling 55 points. Derby was second with 40 and Campus third with 37.
Shaffer won all four of his matches as did Hayes and McHenry.
Brady Stack was 3-1 and placed fifth in singles for the Mustangs, and Carson Michaelis and Keaton Beach 1-3 in doubles and finished eighth.
CENTRAL CRUISES TO MUSTANG CLASSIC TITLE
At Salina Central, the Mustangs’ doubles team of Will Hayes and Reed McHenry breezed through all four of their matches en route to the championship of the Mustang Classic. In the process, Will Hayes entered the 100 Career Wins Club at Salina Central.
Central had little trouble winning the team title, compiling 60 points, well ahead of runner- up Andover, which had 42. Salina South was seventh with 23 points.
Max Shaffer placed third in singles for the Mustangs, winning three of four matches. The doubles team of McCabe Green and Chase Courbot took fourth and Nolan Foth finished seventh in singles.
South was led by Carson Harris’ fifth-place finish in singles, going 3-1 on day. Cayden Cassel was 14th. The doubles team of Jace Irwin and Connor Talbott placed 10th while Miles Hammond and Griffin Peterson were 14th.
MUSTANGS FALL SHORT AT DERBY
At Derby, the Mustangs’ No. 1 doubles team of Keaton Beach and Carson Michaelis went 2-2 and placed fourth in the Derby Invitational.
Central placed seventh as a team with 10 points. Maize was the team champion with 26 points.
Brooks Burgoon finished fifth in No. 2 singles for Central, going 2-2. The No. 2 doubles team of Aidan Speer and Austin Beatty also took fifth with a 2-2 slate.
Nolan Foth was eighth in No. 1 singles, losing his first two matches and defaulting his last two.
MUSTANGS ROLL TO TOPEKA WEST TITLE
At Topeka, Salina Central’s Will Hayes and Reed McHenry won the doubles championship and Max Shaffer was second in singles as the Mustangs won the Topeka West Invitational.
Hayes and McHenry won all six of their matches while teammates Chase Courbot and McCabe Green placed fifth, going 5-1.
Shaffer was also 5-1 on the day. Central’s Brady Stack was 4-2 and took sixth.
Central had 85 points, followed by Kansas City Christian with 71 and Lawrence with 62.
Salina South finished seventh with 49 points. Carson Harris placed third in singles, going 5-1, and Griffin Peterson was 13th after going 3-3 for the Cougars. South’s Jace Irwin and Connor Talbott were 2-4 and placed 12th in doubles. Cayden Cassel and Miles Hammond were 2-4 and took 15th.
ILLNESS DOESN'T SLOW THE MUSTANGS
When illness to a top doubles player forced Salina Central to scuttle its lineup Thursday in the Salina South Invitational, freshmen McCabe Green and Chase Courbot were ready and willing to fill in.
Playing as the No. 1 seeds, Green and Courbot breezed through to the finals before falling 8-1 to Valley Center seniors Ian Clifton and Garrett Rogers at the Central tennis courts.
Valley Center also got a first-place finish from Hayden Brauer on the way to claiming the team championship with 67 points. Central was second with 58, Smoky Valley third with 39 and Abilene fourth with 35, while host South took sixth (23).
For Central, senior Will Hayes and freshman Reed McHenry have occupied the No. 1 doubles slot, but when Hayes was unable to go, Mustang coach Mike Goll decided to elevate Green and Courbot. “It was a great experience,” Courbot said. “I think it will really get us ready for regionals. “Next year, when one of our best seniors (Hayes) is gone, we’ll know what it’s like to step up.”
Green and Courbot did not lose more than four games in any of their first three matches, dispatching Valley Center’s Colby Swift and Brayden Ruble, 8-4, in the semifinals. But they fell behind early in the final and never got back on their feet. “I definitely think if we see them again it won’t be as easy for them,” Courbot said. “Most of the games were 30-40 or deuce, so I think it was a little closer than the score (indicated).”
Green said the competition should serve them well in the future. “There were some pretty good teams here and it was good for us, being freshmen, to be in this position.”
Despite missing what would have been the topseeded doubles team, Central hung with Valley Center, the No. 2-ranked team in Class 5A. The Mustangs are ranked fourth.
In singles, freshmen Max Shaffer and Brady Stack played for third place with Shaffer prevailing, 8-5. Shaffer also was up a break twice against Abilene senior Jase West before dropping a hard-fought 8-6 semifinal decision.
“The last time he broke my serve it stayed neck and neck, but he was always ahead,” Shaffer said of the semifinal loss. “But it was a pretty good day. “Jase is a really good player and he played really well.”
Central also got a seventh- place doubles finish from seniors Carson Michaelis and Keaton Beach.
Abilene’s West, a sometimes practice partner of Shaffer’s at Genesis, was unable match his semifinal success against Valley Center’s top-seeded Brauer. “Max is a really good player and he came off a lot of success last year (in middle school),” West said. “I think I just won the right points and the right time. “I wasn’t playing my best (in the finals) and (Brauer) was a decent player as well. But it’s great for us to come to this tournament because normally we don’t get this type of competition.”
The best finish for host Salina South was a sixth place from the senior doubles team of Carson Harris and Joey Wilson.
It was the first tournament of the season for Wilson, who was coming off a knee injury. The Cougars’ Donovan Reeves took 12th and Connor Talbott 13th in singles.
Smoky Valley’s best result was a third-place finish for Nick Reinert and Johann Rachholz in doubles with an 8-1 victory over Valley Center’s Swift and Ruble.
SALINA CENTRAL WINS EMPORIA INVITATIONAL
At Emporia, Max Shaffer was Runner up in 16 Draw Singles Tournament. Will and Reed McHenry were second in Doubles for Salina Central in the Emporia Invitational.
The strong finish in both Singles and Doubles pushed the Mustangs to the Team Title at Emporia. The Mustangs had 56 points, Manhattan next with 50 and Washburn Rural third with 42.
Shaffer was 3-1 on the day. Brady Stack took fifth, also going 3-1. Hayes and McHenry won three of their four matches. McCabe Green and Chase Courbot finished third, also going 3-1.
The Mustangs are back in action on Thursday as they return home to compete in the Mustang Classic II. The Meet was scheduled as a Quad, but with so many weather cancellations the tournament field is expanded.
SALINA CENTRAL WINS MUSTANG CLASSIC II
At Salina Central, the host Mustangs’ Maroon team claimed the top two spots in doubles Thursday on the way to a team victory in the Mustang Classic II tournament.
Will Hayes and Reed McHenry lost just three games in four matches, beating teammates McCabe Green and Chase Courbot, 8-1 in the doubles final.
The Maroons also got a third-place finish from Austin Beatty and fifth from Nolan Foth in singles.
Central finished with 67 points to 46 for runner-up Goddard Eisenhower, while Salina South was third with 35 and the Central White team tied for seventh with 20.
For South, Carson South reached the singles finals before losing 8-3 to champion Joey Oberle of Ellsworth. Joey Wilson was seventh in singles.
The Central White’s top finish was eighth place from Aidan Speer and Brooks Burgoon in doubles.
WIND NO MATCH FOR MUSTANGS
Mustang claim AVCTL League Title
It wasn't the transition to longer matches Monday that left the Salina Central Mustangs winded. It was Mother Nature at her most blustery.
But despite a stiff southerly breeze of 20-plus mph and gusts twice that strong, the Mustangs were at the top of their game in the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division I Tournament, using a strong finish by their two doubles teams to edge Maize for the team title in a tiebreaker at the Central tennis courts.
'We played pretty well all day, but with the wind it was just hard,' said Central freshman Reed McHenry, who partnered with senior Will Hayes to win the doubles championship. 'The wind does whatever it wants to.' So, it turned out, did Hayes and McHenry, who dropped just eight total games in three best of three-set matches. They knocked off Maize's Chase Schreiner and Tanner Ohnmeis, 6-2, 6-1 in the finals.
Both Central and Maize finished with 44 points, but the Mustangs' lopsided head-to-head victories in the championship and thirdplace doubles matches gave them the overall advantage in percentage of games won.
Freshmen McCabe Green and Chase Courbot handled Maize's Logan Schultz and Ashton Cole, 6-1, 6-1 for third. 'We needed to win both matches just to get to the tie,' Central coach Mike Goll said. 'Winning them by a big margin put us over the top. 'Under these conditions, for the kids to play with that type of intensity was great. These were terrible playing conditions and they played some of their best tennis in their last match.'
The only Mustang to drop his last match was freshman Max Shaffer, who lost 6-1, 6-3 to Maize senior Brennen Sanders in the singles final. Freshman Brady Stack finished with a 9-5 victory over Salina South's Joey Wilson for seventh place.
Hayes and Wilson never trailed in the finals, winning the first two games and cruising through the first set by getting to the net early and often. 'We knew we had to get to the net,' Hayes said. 'Staying back and stroking from the baseline was not an option with the wind. 'We came out swinging and just outplayed them at the net. I think that's what got us the win.'
That, and consistency. 'You've just got to make very shot and not go for something too big,' McHenry said. 'I think if we play (at regionals) the way we did today, we should do pretty good.'
Central's Green and McHenry, bounced back from a 6-1, 7-6 (7-3) semifinal loss to Schreiner and Ohnmeis to handle Schultz and Cole with ease in the third-place match.
Shaffer, who was seeded second in singles behind Sanders, was stretched to a third-set super tiebreaker in each of his first two matches. Sanders placed fifth in singles at state last year as a junior. 'I would rather have finished them off because it's a lot of stress,' he said of his 4-6, 6-3, 10-2 victory over Maize's Jack Russell and 6-3, 4-6, 10-5 decision against Salina South's Carson Harris in the semis. 'But it was good experience. 'It helped me dealing with pressure situations and such.'
Salina South, which took fourth as a team with 24 points, got a fourth-place singles finish from Harris, who lost the third-place match to Derby's Jarrett Bowman, 6-1, 6-0. Wilson was eighth. The Cougars' two doubles teams both went straight to the consolation bracket but closed out with victories. Connor Talbott and Jace Irwin took ninth, while Griffin Peterson and Miles Hammond finished 11th.
Both Central and South will be back in action on the same courts Wednesday for the Class 5A regional tournament.
MUSTANGS QUALIFY ENTIRE TEAM FOR STATE
Four days after winning a league title, the Salina Central boys tennis team made a run at adding a regional championship to its list of accomplishments this season.
The Mustangs came up a little short, finishing two points back of Valley Center in the standings after all matches were completed at the Class 5A regional on Friday at the Central High courts.
What Central did do was qualify all of its entries for next week’s 5A state tournament in Emporia, something no other team at the Salina regional was able to match.
The Mustang contingent will include one senior and five freshmen. “The bottom line is we got the whole team in,” Central coach Mike Goll said. “When you look at this team we have five freshmen with one senior leading them through. “It would have been tough to believe we had a shot at a regional title, but here we are.”
Central, ranked No. 3 in 5A, finished with 17 team points. Valley Center, ranked No. 2, had a first-place finish in singles and its doubles teams placed second and third. Salina South was fourth in the team standings with six points.
Central’s day included a first-place finish in doubles for senior Will Hayes and freshman Reed McHenry. The tournament’s top seeded doubles team never had an opponent win more than three games in any set. “We knew coming in that this would be one of the most stacked regionals in doubles,” Hayes said. “Valley Center has one of the best doubles teams in the state so we knew we definitely had to play our best and we did.”
In the championship match with Valley Center’s Ian Clifton and Garrett Rogers, the teams were tied 2-all in the first set before the Mustangs took control. McHenry and Hayes won nine of the next 10 games, taking the opening set 6-3 and bolting to a 5-0 lead in the second before wrapping it up at 6-2.
“We knew we had to get to the net,” Hayes said. “Both of their players are really good and have played singles in the past so they can stroke it. We had to get to the net and attack them.”
The win in the finals guarantees the Central duo will be one of the top four seeds at the state tournament and with a 34-1 record, could well be the overall No. 1 seed in doubles.
“If we keep this up at state we should have a pretty good shot,” McHenry said. “This one was really important because Valley Center is one of the best teams in the state. We wanted to be seeded higher and get a better draw.”
Central also had a fourth place finish in doubles from freshmen McCabe Green and Chase Courbot. After winning their first round and quarterfinal matches in straight sets, Green and Courbot lost to Clifton-Rogers in the semifinals, 6-2, 6-3. Their third-place match went the full three sets before the Mustang teammates fell to Valley Center’s Colby Swift and Brayden Ruble, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.
Central also had a fourthplace finish in singles from freshman Max Shaffer, and freshman Brady Stack placed sixth. The top six finishers in singles and doubles advance to state, and Stack’s victory in the consolation semifinals guaranteed Central would qualify its entire team for state.
Salina South’s Carson Harris finished third in singles and will his team’s lone representative at state. The only loss for the Cougar senior came in the semifinals to eventual champion Hayden Brauer of Valley Center. Harris finished his day with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Central’s Shaffer in the third-place match. Harris lost to Shaffer in a super tiebreaker earlier this week at the league meet. “I did better than I expected in my mind,” Harris said. “Max Shaffer from Central is a very good opponent and he won when we played earlier. There was a little bit of pressure during that match but now that it’s over, I can focus more on next week.”
“Carson made it to state last year and I know it was a big goal of his to get back this year,” South coach Ryan Stuart said. “With the depth of this field in singles, to be able to do that and finish third is quite an accomplishment. “That final match may have been his best win of the season and it should help him build momentum going into state next week.”
SALINA CENTRAL'S HAYES AND FRESHMEN EYE TOP PRIZE
At Emporia, Will Hayes knows the clock is ticking.
As the lone senior representing Salina Central this weekend in the Class 5A state tennis tournament, his job now is to make sure his five freshmen teammates share that sense of urgency.
“I think every meet we go to, and I hate to say this, but you can tell they are freshmen,” Hayes said. “And I don’t mean that in a negative way because they are always just as good as anybody we play. “They have a tendency in the first match of the day to start slowly, and that first-round match at state is incredibly important to set the tone, so I just have to help them understand that. But they are all competitive enough that they will bring it and come to play.”
Central, ranked No. 3 in the final 5A regular-season poll, is one of the favorites to claim the team championship when the state tournament gets underway at 10 a.m. today at Emporia High School. It resumes Saturday morning at 9, starting with the semifinals and final place matches.
No. 1-ranked Wichita Carroll stumbled in its regional tournament, qualifying just one entry each in singles and doubles, and is now a longshot. That should leave Central, No. 2 Valley Center, and No. 4 Maize to duke it out.
“I think we’re in a very good position to make a run,” said Central coach Mike Goll, who will miss the tournament in order to attend his son’s law school graduation at UCLA Saturday. “The fact that we have one senior and five freshmen, I don’t see that even as a factor. “These kids, at this point in the season, are all seasoned players under the best competition available. One match here or there could make all the difference.”
Leading the way for the Mustangs are Hayes and freshman Reed McHenry, who at 34-1 are the likely No. 1 overall doubles seed. They won both the Ark Valley Chisholm Trail League Division I and 5A regional titles the past two weeks.
Central’s other doubles team of McCabe Green and Chase Courbot finished fourth at regionals, while Max Shaffer was fourth and Brady Stack sixth in singles.
It has been a season of transition for Hayes, who placed 10th in singles last year and ninth as a sophomore, at state. Though he played doubles for much of the regular season last year, it’s his first time doing so in the postseason.
“Reed is an incredible doubles partner and a state championship is something I would love to have, but this season as a whole has already been fulfilling,” Hayes said. “It’s been a great season, and anything that happens from here is just gravy.”
McHenry said the freshmen know that this is Hayes’ last go-round, but that they are just as eager to make their own mark. “I think we will partly be trying to win this for Will,” he said. “But it will also be for ourselves and to prove how good we can be.”
No doubles team that placed last year at state returns intact. But Maize junior Chase Schreiner was half of last year’s second-place team and he partnered with fellow junior Tanner Ohnmeis to win the Goddard Eisenhower regional last Saturday. Lenexa St. James’ Josh Spradlin, who was sixth last year at state, won the Pittsburg regional with new partner Trey Niesen.
Despite its team difficulties at regionals, Wichita Carroll boasts two-time defending champion Rodney Steven in singles. But Steven (14-0) could face a serious challenge from Olathe West sophomore Brett Seaton, who was runner-up a year ago in 6A.
In the Central regional, Valley Center’s Hayden Brauer was the singles champion after placing eighth in doubles last year. Central hopes to neutralize Brauer with the combination of Shaffer and Stack.
Maize, which qualified just one doubles team, will need a solid performance from Eisenhower regional runner-up Brennen Sanders in order to contend.
Salina South senior Carson Harris, the Cougars’ lone entry, is looking for an extended stay as a two-time state qualifier. “Last year I didn’t play on the second day, so going into state this year, that’s going to be the number one priority,” he said. “Just to improve over last year.”
HAYES AND McHENRY BREEZE INTO 5A SEMIFINALS
Salina Central’s Will Hayes and Reed McHenry need one win to reach the title match and two wins to claim a state doubles championship today when play resumes today at the Class 5A state tournament.
Hayes, a senior, and McHenry, a freshman, will face Goddard Eisenhower’s Nathan Watson and Tyler McGreevy in today’s 9 a.m. semifinals at the Emporia High School courts. The winners will play for the state championship, with that match starting shortly after the completion of both semifinals.
The Mustangs are still in contention for a 5A team title and are a strong contender for a top-three finish, but would have to have some help in catching front-runner Valley Center.
Central, Valley Center and Maize South are the only three schools with three entries still playing, but Valley Center has one entry in the both the singles and doubles semifinals. Central has one in the semifinals and two in the consolation bracket, while all three Maize South entires are in the consolation bracket.
After earning the tournament’s top seed, Hayes and McHenry (36-1) won both of their matches Friday in straight sets. They opened with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Wichita Carroll’s Ty Stranghoner and Johnny Steven, then defeated Maize South’s Jack Jewett and Noah Spurgeon in the quarterfinals 6-4, 6-2.
This will be the first meeting between Hayes-McHenry and Watson-McGreevy this season, although the Central duo did defeat Watson and then partner Jacob Abel 8-2 when the teams met in late April. The other semifinal matches Chase Schreiner and Tanner Ohnmeis of Maize against Valley Center’s Ian Clifton and Garrett Rogers.
Hayes-McHenry defeated Schreiner-Ohnmeis 6-2, 6-1 in the title match of the league tournament, and got a 6-3, 6-2 win over Clifton-Rogers in the regional championship last week.
Three of Salina Central’s four entries advanced to the final day of competition. The doubles team of freshmen Chase Courbot and McCabe Green will compete in the doubles consolation bracket today, as will freshman Max Shaffer in the singles division.
Courbot and Green (28-12) won their first two matches, including a 7-6 (4), 4-6, 10-8 victory over regional champions Taylor Moorman and Cameron Kienholz of Emporia in the second round. A win in the quarterfinals would have set up an all Salina Central semifinal, but Courbot-Green lost in three sets to Watson-McGreevy, 6-2, 5-7, 6-1.
They will now face Topeka West’s Noah Kuebler and Braden Zeferjahn in the consolation quarterfinals. With a win Courbot-Green would finish between fifth and eighth place. A loss in their first match today would mean a finish between ninth and 12th.
Shaffer won three of his four matches Friday, including back-to-back wins in the consolation bracket to avoid elimination. After a loss in the second round, Shaffer defeated Leavenworth’s Santiago Barea 9-0, then eliminated Topeka Seaman’s Trey Shepard with another 9-0 win. Shaffer (30-10) will meet Maize South freshman Jaden Tredway in today’s consolation quarterfinals, where a win would give Shaffer a chance to finish as high as fifth, while a loss would mean a finish between ninth and 12th.
HAYES AND McHENRY ARE GOOD AS GOLD
Salina Central also claimed the Second Place Team Trophy
At Emporia,Will Hayes is old enough to remember at least one piece of Salina Central's rich history in doubles. Thanks to a family connection, his freshman doubles partner does, too.
Hayes and Reed McHenry added to that legacy Saturday at Emporia High School when they survived some anxious moments in the finals to claim the Mustangs' fourth Class 5A doubles title in six years.
'It feels great,' Hayes said after he and McHenry twice came back from a service break down in the third set to hold off Maize's Chase Schreiner and Tanner Ohnmeis, 6-0, 4-6, 6-4 in the finals.
'I remember when I was a sophomore playing singles and watching Reed's brother (JD McHenry) and (Zach) Hilbig win, and it was the coolest thing ever. 'Being in the position they were in is great. It was a great season and I loved playing with Reed.'
The doubles championship, combined with a seventh-place singles finish for Max Shaffer and ninth place in doubles from McCabe Green and Chase Courbot, also was good enough to give Central the team runner- up trophy.
Valley Center won with 34 points, followed by the Mustangs with 31 and Maize with 26.
'It was really awesome, with five freshmen in the lineup, to finish only three points behind Valley Center,' said Shaffer, who beat Salina South senior Carson Harris, 9-2, in the seventh- place match. 'We were right there.'
Hayes and McHenry, who came in as the No. 1 doubles seed with a 34-1 record, picked up in the semifinals Saturday where they had left off the day before, handling Goddard Eisenower's Nathan Watson and Tyler McGreevy, 6-3, 6-2. And they dominated the first set of the finals without dropping a game before things got interesting.
Schreiner and Ohnmeis stepped up their game, especially at the net, and broke McHenry on an Ohnmeis volley winner to go up 3-2 before serving out the set. They then broke Hayes to open the second set when an Ohnmeis volley hung on the net cord and trickled over. 'I think we played a little tight,' Hayes said.
Central immediately answered with a break of Schreiner, and after Hayes was broken at love to go down 3-2, they again got even against Schreiner on a Hayes overhead at 30-40.
'Getting the breaks right back was big,' Hayes said. At 4-4 in the final set Hayes put the pressure on Maize when, at 40-30, he split Schreiner and Ohnmeis with a forehand down the middle. Schreiner and Ohnmeis were unable to convert a pair of game points, but saved one match point before a McHenry volley ended it.
'In the third set we started serving a little better,' McHenry said. 'Once the serves came around we were OK.'
Green and Courbot, Central's other doubles team, struggled in their consolation quarterfinal to start the day but came back to win their last two, including a 9-3 decision over Wichita Carroll's Ty Stranghoner and Johnny Steven. 'We had hoped to do better than ninth,' Courbot said. 'We had a shot at fifth, but ninth our freshman year is pretty good. 'I think this (experience) will definitely help us at state next year.'
Green concurred. 'It was good to beat that Bishop Carroll team in the last match,' he said. 'I'm definitely proud of getting second as a team with five freshman.'
In singles, Shaffer won his consolation quarterfinal and lost in the semis before beating South's Harris for seventh. The two had split a pair of matches the last two weeks at league and regionals.
Harris, South's lone entry, was a two-point super tiebreaker loss away from advancing to the quarterfinals on Friday, but came back strong through the consolation bracket before dropping his last two matches. 'I'd definitely say I exceeded my goal,' said Harris, who qualified in singles last year as a junior but did not place in the top 12.
'I came into (the Shaffer match) pretty nervous and he came out swinging hard, but I'm proud of myself.'
The singles winner was Olathe West sophomore Brett Seaton, who took second in 6A last year. He knocked off two-time defending champion Rodney Steven of Carroll, who was hampered by a shoulder injury, 6-2, 6-1 in the final.