Down 5-2 in the second set after already having dropped the first, Logan Snyder and Jake Rockey didn’t panic.
“We knew we had to keep battling,” Rockey said, “that our team needed us, and so we had to step up.”
Franklin’s No. 1 doubles team did just that, staging a big rally for a 3-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4 win against Alex Walsh and Jacob Rothaar that sealed the Grizzly Cubs’ 3-2 triumph against Greenwood in the semifinals of the Johnson County boys tennis tournament Wednesday at Center Grove.
Today’s championship match will pit Franklin against Center Grove, which breezed past Indian Creek in the other semifinal, 5-0.
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Grant Bryant got Greenwood on the board with a 6-3, 6-2 win against Franklin’s Andy Bennett at No. 3 singles. The Grizzly Cubs drew even at 1-1 when Noah Roberts took care of Jacob Gray at No. 1 singles, 6-2, 6-3.
From there, the suspense was drawn out a bit as each of the remaining three matches went to a third set. The Grizzly Cubs gained the upper hand when Ethan Klem and Josiah Rockey outlasted Ben Sobieray and Eric Moenkhaus at second doubles, 6-3, 2-6, 6-3.
Snyder and Jake Rockey followed with the clinching victory, rendering a similarly impressive comeback by Greenwood’s Jack O’Reilly at No. 2 singles irrelevant.
O’Reilly topped Jonah Rockey, 2-6, 7-6 (1), 6-1.
Center Grove (4-6) has had its share of difficult matches this season, but Wednesday’s was not one of them. The Trojans dropped just five games overall en route to the win.
Trey Thixton, Nic Ballesteros and Mitch Runkle swept the three singles points. Eli Lawyer-Smith and Akul Vijayvargiya won at first doubles, while Grant Herron and JT Embry took the No. 2 doubles point.
Center Grove coach Ivan Smith knows his team will have a much tougher battle in the final, but he’s hoping that his team’s early-season gauntlet will pay dividends.
“We’ve played a lot of hard matches, a lot of close matches,” he said. “… I hope the hard matches that we’ve had, where we’ve had to battle and so forth, I’m hoping that will help us in a match like (today).”