Duncan boys tennis seeking initial 2019 duel win

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan junior Lucas Basteen approaches the ball for a return against Pima. He had singles wins against both Willcox and Pima.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

DUNCAN – The Duncan Wildcats’ boys tennis team was edged 5-4 in a pair of section matches, by the Cowboys in Willcox on March 19 and by the visiting Pima Roughriders on the H.T. Clothier courts March 21.

The Wildkats (0-5 seeding record, 0-5 section), ranked 43 of 44 Division III  teams, host No. 27 Safford (2-4, 2-3) Monday, March 25, visit No. 22 Benson (3-3, 3-2) Tuesday, March 26, and welcome No. 2 Thatcher (7-0, 6-0) Thursday, March 28.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan No. 1 Nathan Kempton tries to place the ball against Pima. He lost a tie-breaker and the match to Willcox but slipped past Pima 11-9.

Division III – Section I standings as of March 22 are Thatcher first with a 6-0 record, Willcox second (4-2), Morenci third (3-2), Benson fourth (3-2), Safford fifth (2-3), Pima sixth (1-5), and Duncan seventh (0-5).

Duncan is 7-23 in singles and 4-11 in doubles, including seven forfeits, five in singles (1-4) and four in doubles (1-3).

Individually in head-to-head singles matches, No. 1 sophomore Nathan Kempton, No. 2 senior Nate Rapier, and No. 3 junior Lucas Basteen are each 1-4, No. 4 senior Wesley Conyer 3-2, No. 5 senior Weston Skinner 0-3, and No. 6 senior Jay Garner 1-1.

In doubles, No. 1 Kempton – Basteen is 1-4, No. 2 Rapier – Conyer 2-3, and No. 3 Garner – Skinner 1-1.

Roughriders – 5, Wildkats – 4

Duncan triumphed in three singles and a doubles pairings, but forfeited one of each to drop the duel.

Kempton edged senior Jeb Schysm 11-9, Basteen downed sophomore Dallin Preston 10-3, and Conyer defeated sophomore Keanu Hansen 10-7 in singles.

The doubles win was 8-2 by Rapier – Conyer over Vega – Barba,

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Pima senior Jeb Schysm stretches to make a return against Duncan.

For Pima, senior Daniel Medlin (10-3 over Rapier), sophomore Hunter Cluff (10-4 over Skinner), and freshman Owen Lunt (received forfeit) had singles wins.

In doubles, Childers – Childers (8-4 over Kempton – Basteen) and Cluff – Lunt (received forfeit) posted wins.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Senior Nate Rapier returns the ball with a backhand swing. Along with Wesley Conyer, the No. 2 duo recorded wins against both Willcox and Pima.

Cowboys – 5, Wildkats – 4

The Wildkats went 2-4 in singles and 2-1 in doubles.

Duncan’s wins were both 8-5 by Rapier over senior Edward Vega and by Conyer over sophomore Marcus Barba in singles plus 8-6 by Kempton – Basteen over senior Chase Childers – freshman Hunter Childers and 8-5 by Rapier – Conyer over Vega – Barba in doubles.

For Willcox, Chase Childers won the tie-breaker 7-1 (9-8 over Kempton), Hunter Childers won the tie-breaker 7-3 (9-8 over Rapier), sophomore Jeremy Nieto (8-0 over Skinner), and freshman Ryan McClaine (8-0 over Garner) each had singles wins.

In doubles, it was Nieto – McClaine with an 8-0 win over Skinner – Garner.