Tied at 2-2 in team scoring, Seymour junior Alex Berry notched his final point in a three-set victory and lifted one finger towards the sky, as the boys tennis team rushed the No. 1 singles court.
The team had reclaimed the Seymour Sectional title, a championship that was last earned in 2006.
The Owls defeated Jackson County rivals Brownstown Central 3-2 on Monday in the finals.
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Following postponements Friday and Saturday, the Owls and Braves were deadlocked at 1-1 in team scoring heading into Monday’s action.
All three matches were in third sets to start the match.
At No. 1 singles, Braves senior Lute Lahrman fell to Berry 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
Berry said that he played more consistently in his third set, which is why he was able to build a 4-1 lead before finishing at 6-2.
Senior Josiah Rudge and junior Grant Handloser clinched the other point for the Owls defeating Braves senior Riley Carlin and junior Sam Hoff 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-2 at No. 1 doubles.
“I think that we fought a lot more in the third set,” Handloser said. “We had some nerves coming into it. By that third game, we were rolling. We kicked it in at the end of the season. We’re (at No. 1 doubles) on a six match win streak to close out the season, and I feel like we’re playing at the top of our game.”
Rudge said that the match was a culmination of the season.
“The first few games we were really nervous, but once we noticed they started making more mistakes, we got up,” Rudge said. “We’ve practiced hard all season. It’s not all tonight, it’s everything leading up to it. I feel like we deserved it, especially this year.”
Braves senior Cole Brock claimed the lone point for the Braves in the makeup match defeating Owls sophomore Ty McCory 6-2, 4-6, 6-1.
“I thought they were more consistent today,” Seymour coach Brad Emerson said. “Brownstown is a tough team. They have gritty kids, and coach (Ron) Slaton really gets them pumped up to play. They battled hard. It comes down to the wire every year we play them, whether in sectional or the regular season. I thought we played the bigger points better today. No. 1 doubles put away more shots, and Alex played a smart match.”
Friday, freshman Adam Berry registered the first Owls team point by defeating Braves senior Kent Criminger 6-0, 6-1.
“It feels really good,” Adam said. “All of us are doing pretty well. I think we all have been serving pretty good lately.”
Emerson said that this year’s sectional was very competitive with Austin, Scottsburg and the Braves in the mix.
“I’m just so proud of these kids,” he said. “If I was a betting man at the beginning of the season, I probably would have said Scottburg would have the trophy again, knowing what they have. We’re fortunate. We came through and beat a tough Austin team, and tonight we played a tough Brownstown team.”
The Braves No. 2 doubles team of junior Sy Zickler and freshman Ethan Carlin bested Owls seniors Hao Li and Sam Voss 6-4, 6-0 also in the first day of play.
Zickler and Carlin finished with the most wins in a single season, in school history, by amassing 22 triumphs.
Lahrman finished tied for the most career victories with 62 wins.
“You have to commend (coach) Emerson,” Slaton said. “He really did a great job at having his kids ready. They had a tough schedule. They followed through and came through — it was very well deserved.”
Brock finished his career with 50 wins for the Braves.
The Braves finish their season at 20-8.
“They have set a tone for the rest of the kids to look up to for years,” Slaton said of his senior group. “We had three 20 win seasons out of their four years in high school. We have quite a few of them up on the posterboards on our fence at the high school.
“You have a lot of good things to look over the past four years. They were part of the academic all-state team last year.”
Today, the Owls (10-10) will play Columbus North in the Bloomington North Regional.
“I think it’s going to be good for us,” Emerson said of playing back-to-back matches. “We’re going to be on a little bit of a high going into (today) and we’ll be fresh. I know all those kids at (Columbus) North because I’ve worked with them at the club (Tipton Lakes), so I know what makes them tick. We’re going to go out and give them our best shot and be competitive out there.”