In a Jackson County boys tennis matchup, Brownstown Central swept the competition on their home courts by defeating Trinity Lutheran 5-0 on Tuesday.
With each of their players winning the first game in their respective matches, the Braves led all the way in the competition.
At No. 1 singles, Lute Lahrman defeated the Cougars’ Andrew Rodriguez 6-1, 6-3.
In the second set, down 5-0, Rodriguez battled back to win three-straight games before falling to Lahrman.
The Braves’ Cole Brock bested Cougars junior Jonathan Keith 6-1, 6-1.
Despite the final score, the two had numerous grind-it-out rallies with Brock edging it out when it counted most.
The Cougars’ Tanner Prewitt fell to Braves senior Kent Criminger 6-1, 6-0.
Cougars coach Mark Voss said his singles players found their composure late in their matches.
“I saw some battling in the first three singles matches,” he said. “Andrew had some got shots in the second half, Jonathan battled in the second set too. Jonathan and (Brock) were kind of mirrors of each other, they’re tall, lanky guys.
“The scores don’t really reflect it, but they were deep into the points.”
In No. 1 doubles play, the Braves’ Riley Carlin and Sam Hoff bested Matt Stuckwisch and Bailey Baker 6-0, 6-0 in a dominant, all-around performance.
Sy Zickler and Ethan Carlin stayed undefeated on the season by topping the Cougars’ Hunter Morgan and Spencer Muhlbach 6-1, 6-0.
“I tell you what, Brownstown’s No. 1 doubles team — I look for them to be a sectional champion,” Voss said. “They were tough and ready to play. At No. 2 doubles, we tried a different combination and for the most part it was OK.”
Brownstown and Trinity will both play in the Seymour sectional again in the coming weeks along with Austin and Scottsburg.
“I feel like we’re a pretty solid team,” Braves coach Ron Slaton said. “Seymour and Scottsburg will still give us all we want, and Austin has a pretty nice team. There’s quite a few of us that are right there together.”
Voss said that if the two meet up again, he wants to see his team come out ready at the start.
“I want us to get started earlier,” Voss said. “I want them at the gun, at the start of the match, and then see where the chips fall from there. I think if we can do that, gain some confidence, we can play with them a little bit longer. We had some fight in us, but we didn’t have enough left.
“Brownstown is a very good team. We hung tough in the second sets, but it almost took a set for us to get going and you can’t do that against a team of this caliber. They’re too good to give away a set right off the bat.”
Slaton said that he saw a much improved Cougars team from last season, when Voss was in his inaugural year of coaching.
“Trinity is struggling a little bit, but they have good numbers and good kids,” Slaton said. “We’ve been in the same situation with low numbers, but they’ve grown to 11 kids this season. They’re starting to have some kids who have some shots. On the right night, if they put everything together, they can give some opponents some problems. I just feel like, right now, we’re playing pretty well.”
The Cougars now drop to 2-7 while the Braves bump to 12-2.