BONNE TERRE – The North County boys tennis team found itself a familiar situation against rival Potosi on Monday, needing a late spark to prevail in a tight battle.
The second duel this season between the Raiders and Trojans came down to another best-of-three scenario, but contained a slight variation in the singles rankings.
Kurt Kluge, who recently advanced to the No. 5 slot since the previous encounter with Potosi, rallied from a slow start against Seth Mosier to secure the clinching win.
The Raiders pulled through 5-4 less than three hours after formally dedicating their home courts in memory of longtime coach Mary Hoehn, who died unexpectedly in January.
Les Copeland snapped a 3-3 overall tie at No. 4 singles. His baseline return on match points sealed an 8-4 triumph over Brady Woods.
Kluge provided the clincher moments later by converting his last service game at 8-6 after trailing 4-2 early. Mosier turned aside two match points before sending a final return into the net.
The last contest to finish featured the same two players as the April 1 meeting. But the victory was flipped, and team outcome decided in the rematch.
Chase Glore served two big aces and claimed the last five points of a second straight tiebreaker for the Trojans against Logan Harris to earn a 9-8 (7-2) triumph.
Potosi gained an early advantage by claiming two of three doubles clashes. The No. 2 and No. 3 matches did not feature tiebreakers like the last time, but were headed in that direction for a while.
Gabe Adams and Roland Knight were more dominant in an 8-1 decision against Johnathan Miller and Landon Kater at the No. 1 ranking.
Woods and Glore surged back to win 9-7 against Copland and Harris. They secured a huge break to even things a 7-7 following three deuces, then broke again to take the match.
North County avoided a doubles sweep at No. 3 when a couple of clutch volleys at the net enabled Peyton McGrael and Kluge to overcome Mosier and Garrett Eye 9-7.
Miller avenged his doubled defeat by edging Adams 8-6 atop the singles list. Miller ripped a return that caught the tape and carried over the net on match point after Adams fought back from love-40 at 1-4 to get back on serve.
McGrael contributed an 8-1 result against Brenden Brown to help North County amass four singles wins.
Knight charged the net for a diagonal winner on the run to emerge 8-5 for Potosi after Kater nearly executed a second consecutive service break.
Hoehn was honored in a 15-minute ceremony prior to the action with scores of friends, family, former players and colleagues in attendance.
Her coaching successor, Anna Yount, was part of four MAAA titles as a player during Hoehn’s 34-year tenure. Potosi coach Danny Mueller played on her first district championship boys squad in 1998.
Farmington head coach Andrew Canter was also among those in attendance. His team paid tribute to Hoehn earlier this season by wearing blue headbands against when facing North County.
1. Jonathan Miller (NC) def. Gabe Adams, 8-6
2. Roland Knight (P) def. Landon Kater, 8-5
3. Les Copeland (NC) def. Brady Woods, 8-4
4. Chase Glore (P) def. Logan Harris, 9-8 (7-2)
5. Kurt Kluge (NC) def. Seth Mosier, 8-6
6. Peyton McGrael (NC) def. Brenden Brown, 8-1
1. Adams/Knight (P) def. Miller/Kater, 8-1
2. Woods/Glore (P) def. Copeland/Harris, 9-7
3. Kluge/McGrael (NC) def. Mosier/Eye, 9-7