By TRENT FLETCHER Town Crier Sports Staff
The Riverside tennis team will be sending three players to this week's state tournament in Little Rock.
The boy's number one doubles team of Tyler Timms and Blake Barnes qualified for state tournament play by finishing as the district tournament runners up this past week in Jonesboro.
Timms and Barnes came into the tournament as the number two seed and automatically advanced to the quarterfinals by receiving a first round bye.Timms and Barnes then defeated Piggott's number two team of Chet Vaughn and Austin McDaniel, 6-0, 6-2, in their quarterfinal match. The Rebels then knocked off Ridgefield Christian's number one team of Daniel
Morgan and Nolan Gilmore, 6-3, 6-4. That set up the championship match against the Weiner team of Kyle Lawrence and Bo Hicks. Timms and Barnes had defeated Lawrence and Hicks during the regular season, but the Weiner tandem gained revenge and captured the district championship with a 6-3, 3-6, 6-4 victory over the Rebel duo. Lawrence and Hicks had
come into the tournament as the number four seed, but had advanced to the finals by knocking off the tournament's number one seeded team of Anthony Pickering and Zach White of Piggott.
Miranda Boyd advanced to the state tournament in singles play when she knocked off Piggott's Ty Hahn for third place, 6-0, 6-4. Boyd won her first round match in three sets, 6-0, 3-6, 6-3 over Ridgefield Christian's Rachel Beavers. Boyd lost in the semifinals to Courtney Dunlap of Piggott, 6-1, 6-4. Ridgefield Christian(s Anna Ledbetter took home the district championship with a 7-5, 6-2 win over Dunlap.
The Rebel's number two doubles team of M. J. Emery and Cody Richardson won their first round match with a 6-2, 6-7, 6-4 win over the Walnut Ridge team of Ryan Belcher and Tom Jackson. Emery and Richardson fell just short of a
state tournament berth as they lost a heartbreaking quarterfinal match to number one seeded Piggott, 7-6 (7-5), 6-4.
In singles play, Riverside's Shawn Mathews dropped a 6-2, 6-2 quarterfinal match to Ridgefield Christian's Trenton Hoggard, while Rebel Zac Reynolds also fell in the quarterfinals, losing a grueling 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 match to Piggott's Daniel Parker.
Ridgefield Christian and Walnut Ridge tied for the boy's team title with eight points apiece. Weiner finished third with seven, Piggott claimed fourth with six points, while the Rebels finished fifth with five points.
In girls action, Piggott claimed the overall championship, while the Rebels placed third..
Riverside will begin state tournament play Thursday in Little Rock at Burns Park.