Morenci tennis boys head early section standings

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Josh Biggs (3-1) follows the ball into his racquet for a return attempt during the Duncan tourney. The No. 3 Morenci senior contributed four team points as the Wildcats finished second behind Saint David. Duncan hosts Patagonia, Safford hosts Morenci, Pima hosts Miami, and Willcox visits Tombstone on Tuesday, March 6.

By Raymundo Frasquillo

THATCHER – The Brenda Street-coached Morenci tennis boys opened the season with a 7-2 section win over the Pima Roughriders at Eastern Arizona College on March 1. The Wildcats followed it with a second-place finish in the H. T. Clothier Invitational on March 4.

Early Division III – Section I standings are Morenci (3-1 overall, 1-0 seeding, 1-0 section), Thatcher (1-0, 1-0, 0-0), Pima (1-1, 1-1, 1-0), Safford (1-1, 1-1, 0-0), Duncan (1-3, 0-1, 0-0), Willcox (0-1, 0-1, 0-0), and Benson (0-2, 0-2, 0-0).

Safford fell to Florence 3-6 on Feb. 23; Safford defeated Willcox 8-1 on Feb. 28; Benson fell 0-9 to Saint David on Feb. 28; Thatcher shutout Miami 9-0 on March 2, Tucson Amphitheater blanked Benson 9-0 on March 3, and Saint David emerged with the all-day Duncan tourney title on March 4.

This week (March 6-11), Pima hosts Miami (0-2, 0-2, 0-0), Safford hosts Morenci, Duncan hosts Patagonia (0-0, 0-0, 0-0), and Willcox visits Tombstone (0-3, 0-0, 0-0) on Tuesday, March 7; Thatcher visits Tucson Pusch Ridge Christian (2-0, 2-0, 0-0) on Wednesday, March 8; Morenci hosts Miami, Benson visits Pusch Ridge, Duncan visits Willcox, and Thatcher visits Gilbert Classical (1-1, 1-1, 0-0) on Thursday, March 9; and Safford hosts a round robin tourney on Friday, March 10.

H. T. Clothier Invitational

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Quinton Wiltbank (4-0) backhands a return. The Morenci senior medaled in the No. 2 singles slot during the Duncan tourney, contributing five team points.

Saint David tallied 23 points, winning 15-18 singles and 8-9 doubles pairings, to leave Duncan with the 2023 H.T. Clothier Invitational title. Morenci was second with 19 points, winning 12-18 singles and 7-9 doubles; host Duncan was third (9), and Tombstone fourth (1).

Earning individual medals in singles was No. 1 Saint David senior Brayten Trejo (4-0), No. 2 Morenci senior Quinton Wiltbank (4-0), No. 3 Saint David junior Sammy Judd (4-0), No. 4 Duncan senior Artie Lemons (4-0), No. 5 Saint David freshman Ricky Blachly (4-0), and No. 6 Morenci junior Derick Jones (4-0).

Medalists in doubles were Saint David No. 1 seniors Brayten Trejo – Marek Haynie (4-0), Saint David No. 2 junior Sammy Judd – senior Regan Young (4-0), and Morenci No. 3 juniors Andrew McCallum – Jakob Camacho (3-0).

Round One:

Saint David – 6, Morenci – 3

The Wildcats won two singles and a doubles pairings while the Tigers won the dual by taking four singles and two doubles.

Wiltbank defeated Haynie 6-4, junior Derick Jones defeated freshman Jaxon Savage (2-1) 7-5, and McCallum – Camacho down the freshmen Ricky Blachly – Savage (2-1) 8-3.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Derick Jones (4-0) raises his racquet the meet the ball during a third-round double pairing. The Morenci junior was one of three Wildcats medaling during the Duncan tourney, in the No. 6 singles slot.

For Saint David, Trejo defeated senior Jarel Diaz (1-3) 7-5, Judd defeated junior Josh Biggs (2-2) 6-1, Young defeated McCallum (1-2) 7-5, and Blachly (3-1) defeated Camacho (2-2) 6-2.

In doubles, it was Trejo – Haynie and Judd – Young over Diaz – Biggs and Wiltbank – Jones, respectively, by identical 8-5 scores.

Duncan – 6, Tombstone – 1

The Wildkats won three singles and two doubles pairings plus received a singles forfeit; the Yellow Jackets. won a singles; and a doubled forfeit resulted in the No. 6 singles and No. 3 doubles as neither team had an entrant.

Senior Logan Basteen (3-1) defeated senior Adam Cloud (0-3) 6-1, junior Cutter Scarcella (2-2) defeated senior Caleb Russian (1-2) 6-4, and Lemons (4-0) defeated Riley Givens (0-3) 6-0. Junior Ezekiel Cauthen (1-3) received a forfeit.

In doubles, it was Basteen – senior Bryant Rapier (2-2) and Scarcella – Lemons (2-2) over Cloud – senior Joe Valenzuela (0-3) 8-3 and Russian – Givens (0-3) 8-4, respectively.

For Tombstone, Valenzuela (1-2) slipped past Rapier 7-5.

Round Two:

Morenci – 7, Duncan – 2

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Jarel Diaz (1-3) checks to see where to place the ball. The Morenci senior is the team’s top seed.

The Wildcats won three singles, and two doubles, and received two forfeits while the Wildkats won two singles.

Wiltbank defeated Rapier 6-1, Biggs defeated Scarcella 6-0, and Camacho defeated Cauthen 6-1 in singles. Jones received a forfeit,

In doubles, Diaz – Biggs and Wiltbank – Jones defeated Basteen – Rapier 9-8 and Scarcella – Lemons 8-4, respectively.

For Duncan, it was Basteen over Diaz and Lemons over McCallum by identical 6-4 scores.

Saint David – 9, Tombstone – 0

The Tigers won all six head-to-head pairings, four singles, and two doubles, and received three forfeits.

Trejo, Haynie, Judd, and Young defeated Cloud 6-2, Valenzuela 6-3, Russian 6-4, and Givens 6-1, respectively. Blachly and Savage received forfeits.

In doubles, it was Trejo – Haynie and Judd – Young over Cloud – Valenzuela 8-2 and Russian – Givens 8-6, respectively. The Blachly – Savage duo received a forfeit.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Bryant Rapier concentrates on meeting the ball for a return. The Duncan senior is in the No. 2 singles slot.

Round Three:

Saint David – 8, Duncan – 1

The Tigers won five singles, and a doubles, and received two forfeits while Duncan won a lone singles.

Trejo, Haynie, Judd, and Blachly defeated Basteen 7-5, Rapier 6-4, Scarcella 6-4, and Cauthen 6-0, respectively. Savage received a forfeit.

In doubles, it was Trejo – Haynie and Judd – Young over Basteen – Rapier and Scarcella – Lemons, respectively, by identical 8-2 scores. The Blachly – Savage duo received a forfeit.

For Duncan, Lemons defeated Young 6-4.

Morenci – 9, Tombstone – 0

The Wildcats won all six head-to-head pairings, four singles, and two doubles, and received three forfeits.

Diaz, Wiltbank, Biggs, and McCallum defeated Cloud 6-2, Valenzuela 6-3, Russian 6-3, and Givens 6-2, respectively. Camacho and Jones received forfeits.

In doubles, Diaz – Biggs and Wiltbank – Jones defeated Cloud – Valenzuela and Russian – Givens, respectively, by identical 8-4 scores.

March 3:

Amphitheater – 7, Benson – 2

With only two team members, the Bobcats forfeited six pairings to the Division II Panthers in Tucson.

Sophomore Matt Volker (1-1) defeated junior Issac Barrios 10-8 in a tie-breaker after splitting sets (6-2, 5-7) in singles, and Volker – sophomore Jonathan Woolward (1-1) defeated Barrios – senior Ezra Dimas Green 9-7.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Artie Lemons (4-0) extends himself to keep the ball in play. The Duncan senior was the only one on the team to earn a medal, from the No. 4 singles slot.

For the Panthers, Green won the tie-breaker 10-5 after splitting sets (6-3, 4-6). Sophomore Toben Gee, junior David Barreras, freshman Lincoln Sorensen, and junior Oscar Lopez received singles forfeits as did Gee – Sorensen and Barreras – Lopez in doubles.

March 2:

Thatcher – 9, Miami – 0

The Eagles swept the Vandals, winning all nine pairings, six singles, and three doubles.

Senior No. 1 Hunter Sellers, No. 2 junior Brock Smith, No. 3 junior Blake Kartchner, No. 4 junior Gene Huish, No. 5 senior Austin Haynie, and No. 6 sophomore Bryson Scores defeated senior Eric Troglia (6-0 twice), senior Dillon Mancha (6-1 twice), senior Justin Fletcher (6-0, 6-1), senior Jaykob Armenta (6-0 twice), sophomore Xavier Mancha (6-0 twice), and senior Jaxon Silvers (6-0 twice), respectively.

In doubles, No. 1 Sellers – Haynie, No. 2 Kartchner – Huish, and No. 3 Smith – senior Carter Bryce defeated Dillon Mancha – Fletcher 8-1, Troglia – Silvers 8-3, and Armenta – Xavier Mancha 8-1, respectively.

March 1:

Morenci – 7, Pima – 2

The Wildcats won four singles and two doubles pairings from the Roughriders, propelling them to the top of the region’s early standings.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Leland Thompson serves against Morenci. The top seed Pima senior won two singles matches following a lone practice session. In a 5-day span, he played in the 2A state championship basketball game on Saturday, rested on Sunday, and practiced tennis on Monday prior to competing on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wiltbank, Josh Biggs, Jones, and junior Ryan Biggs defeated senior Dillon McCray (6-2, 6-1), senior Ryan Taylor (6-0 twice), sophomore Mac Bryce (6-0 twice), and freshman Jackson Paull (6-0 twice), respectively.

In doubles, Diaz – Josh Biggs, Wiltbank – Jones, and Camacho – Ryan Biggs (1-0) defeated senior Leland Thompson – Taylor (1-1) 8-6, McCray – senior Cooper Reed (0-1) 8-4, and Bryce – Paull, respectively.

For Pima, Thompson (2-0) defeated Diaz by a 10-6 tie-breaker after splitting sets (6-2, 4-6), and Reed (1-1) defeated Camacho by a 10-8 tie-breaker after splitting sets (6-4, 1-6).

Feb. 28:

Pima – 7, Duncan – 2

The Roughriders opened the season winning three singles, two doubles and receiving two forfeits.

Thompson defeated Basteen 6-4 and 7-5, McCray defeated Rapier 6-1 and 7-6, and Bryce defeated Cauthen 6-2 twice. Paull received a forfeit.

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Cooper Reed focuses on meeting the ball during a recent outing. The Pima No. 4 singles seed is one of four seniors on the team.

In doubles, Thompson – Taylor defeated Basteen – Rapier 8-6, and McCray – Reed defeated Scarcella – Lemons 8-2. Bryce – Paull received a forfeit.

For Duncan, Scarcella defeated Taylor (6-3, 6-2) and Lemons defeated Reed (6-3, 6-2).

Safford – 8, Willcox – 1

The Bulldogs nearly swept the Cowboys in Cochise County.

Sophomore Camden Montierth (1-0) defeated sophomore Nathaniel Aguilar (0-1) 8-2, junior Kody Gluyas (1-0) defeated sophomore Keanu Ramil (0-1) 8-3, junior Thomas Biggs (1-1) defeated sophomore Andres Osornio (0-1) 8-3, junior Xavier Owens (1-1) defeated sophomore Elijah Bhasme (0-1) 8-3, and sophomore Bo Bowman (2-0) defeated senior Michael Martinez (0-1) 8-1.

In doubles, it was Montierth – Gluyas (1-0) 6-4 over Aguilar – Ramil, Brayden Bowman – Biggs (2-0) 6-2 over Rodriguez – Osornio (0-1), and Owens – Bo Bowman (1-0) 6-3 over Bhasme – sophomore Kyle McClaine (0-1).

For Willcox, sophomore Jovani Rodriguez defeated junior Brayden Bowman (0-2) 8-5.

Saint David – 9, Benson – 0

Raymundo Frasquillo Photo/Gila Herald: Logan Basteen (2-2) tosses the ball up for a serve. The Duncan senior is in the No. 1 singles slot.

The Tigers won the three head-to-head pairings from the Bobcats, two singles and a doubles, plus received forfeits for four singles and two doubles.

Trejo and Haynie downed Volker and Woolward, respectively, by identical 6-0 and 6-1 scores. Judd, Young, senior Conner Curtis, and Blachly received forfeits.

In doubles, Trejo – Haynie downed Volker – Woolward 8-1. Judd – Young and Curtis – Blachly received forfeits.

Feb. 23:

Florence – 6, Safford – 3

The Bulldogs could muster two singles and a doubles during their season opener in Pinal County.

Bo Bowman defeated sophomore Vincent Valdez 6-3 and 6-2, Zach Montierth defeated sophomore Talon Windsor by winning the tie-breaker 10-1 after splitting sets (5-7, 6-4), and the No. 1 duo of Brayden Bowman – Biggs defeated sophomores Evan Quick – Jackson Potter 8-4.

For the Gophers, Quick defeated Brayden Bowman (6-1, 6-3), junior Visillous Apostolos defeated Biggs (6-3, 6-4), senior Julien Cottereau defeated Owens (6-1, 6-2), and Potter defeated junior Kyle Lines (6-4, 6-0).

In doubles, Apostolos – Cottereau defeated Owens – Lines 8-2, and Valdez – sophomore Shilo Sanchez defeated Montierth – senior Bronson Hatch 8-4.