Duncan tennis boys return two with varsity experience for 2020

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Duncan senior Lucas Basteen backhands a return against Morenci on March 12. The four Wildkats blanked the two visitors 6-0.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

DUNCAN – The four-member Duncan boys tennis team blanked the visiting Morenci boys 6-0 March 12, completing its 3-week schedule with a 1-3 section record and 2-3 seeding.

The Wildkats opened the season with a 3-6 loss at Safford Feb. 26 during week one, fell 0-9 to Thatcher March 3 and Benson March 5 during week two, and slipped past Superior 5-4 March 11.

Duncan is 9-19 in singles and 4-10 in doubles. A total of 15 forfeits are included, 10 singles (2-8) and five doubles (1-4) with a 4-member team.

Individually, No. 1 junior Nathan Kempton and No. 2 senior Lucas Basteen are both 3-2, No. 3 freshman Logan Basteen 2-3, and No. 4 freshman Bryant Rapier 1-4.

In doubles, Kempton – Lucas Basteen and Logan Basteen – Rapier are both 2-3.

The two returnees were both 3-9 in singles, Kempton at No. 1 and Lucas Basteen at No. 3, and in doubles at No. 1.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci senior Shaun Espinoza serves against Duncan. The Wildcats fell in both singles and doubles to the hosts.

The 2019 Wildkats (1-11 section, 1-11 seeding) were 18-54 in singles and 11-25 in doubles, including nine forfeits, four singles (1-3) and five doubles (1-4) with a full team.

Through the initial three weeks, the Division III – Section I standings were Benson 4-0 in the section and seeding, Thatcher (3-0, 3-0), Safford (3-2, 3-3), Willcox (2-3, 2-3), Pima (1-2, 1-2), Duncan (1-3, 2-3), and Morenci (0-4. 0-4).

In section pairings, Benson topped Willcox 8-1 (Feb. 27), Morenci 9-0 (Feb. 28), Willcox 8-0 (March 3), and Duncan 9-0 (March 5); Thatcher defeated Safford 9-0 (March 2), Duncan 9-0 (March 3), and Willcox 8-1 (March 11); Safford downed Duncan 6-3 (Feb. 27), Morenci 6-3 (March 3), and Pima 5-4 (March 11); Pima edged Morenci 5-4 (March 5); Willcox prevailed 6-3 over Pima (March 6) and 7-2 over Safford (March 10), and Duncan blanked Morenci 6-0 (March 12).

There were no matches scheduled during March 16-21 because of the Spring Break, but “competition delayed until further notice with the closing of statewide schools until at least April 10, decisions regarding return to play and spring tournaments will not take place until then because of the world-wide Covid-19 pandemic,” posted Arizona Interscholastic Association Sports Information Coordinator Seth Polansky on March 20.

In those three weeks, the scheduled matches for March 23-28 were Safford at Benson, Pima at Thatcher, Willcox at Duncan, and Miami at Morenci on March 24; Thatcher at Nogales on March 25; Thatcher at Benson, Duncan at Pima, and Morenci at Willcox on March 26.

For March 30 – April 4, it was Benson at Tucson’s The Gregory School and Willcox at Saint David on March 30; Duncan at Benson, Pima at Morenci, Thatcher at Safford, and Patagonia at Willcox on March 31; Thatcher at Miami on April 1; Morenci at Safford, Pima at Elfrida Valley Union on April 2; Safford at Duncan and Saint David at Morenci on April 3. Thatcher planned to attend the 2-day Chandler Prep Tourney April 3-4.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Junior Nathan Kempton returns the ball against Morenci. The Duncan top seed is 3-2 in singles and 2-3 in doubles after five matches.

April 6-10 had Benson at Morenci and Willcox at Pima on April 7; Pima at Benson and Safford at Willcox on April 9; and Pima at Saint David on April 10.

The remaining regular-season matches include Duncan at Morenci, Safford at Pima, Thatcher at Willcox, and Benson at Elfrida Valley Union on April 14; The Gregory School at Thatcher on April 15; Benson at Safford, Duncan at Willcox, and Thatcher at Pima on April 16; Morenci at Thatcher on April 17; and Benson at Thatcher, Pima at Duncan, Willcox at Morenci, and Saint David at Safford on April 21.

Post-season round one play was to start April 29 for team play, with quarterfinals May 6, semifinals May 8 and finals May 9; and individual brackets round one and two on May 1, quarterfinals and semifinals May 2, and finals May 4.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Morenci sophomore Cory Wilson III teamed up with Shaun Espinoza in doubles against Duncan. The pair was the lone representatives for Morenci in Duncan.

Duncan – 6, Morenci – 0

Only two singles and a doubles match were played because Morenci numbered two bodies.

The singles scores were 8-0 for both Kempton and Lucas Basteen over senior Shaun Espinoza (0-4) and sophomore Corbin Wilson III (2-2), respectively. Logan Basteen and Rapier both received forfeits.

In doubles, Kempton – Lucas Basteen prevailed 8-2 over Espinoza – Wilson (0-1). The Logan Basteen – Rapier duo was awarded a forfeit.