FSHS, LHS has top doubles teams place at Class 6A state tennis tourney

The top doubles tandems for Free State and Lawrence High ended up placing at the Class 6A state tennis tournament on Saturday at Harmon Park Tennis Complex in Prairie Village.

Free State’s duo of senior Ben Melvin and sophomore George Thornton secured a seventh-place finish to cap off their first and only season as a doubles team. Lawrence’s pair of senior Drew Dean and junior Cuyler Dunn also completed their lone season as a doubles tandem, which ended with an 11th-place finish in the doubles bracket.

Melvin and Thornton, who were coming off a regional title last weekend by defeating Dean and Dunn, got the bye to open the state doubles bracket on Friday. They then defeated a Manhattan duo to earn their first win before falling to Blue Valley West in the quarterfinals.

On Saturday, Melvin and Thornton earned a 9-5 win over Olathe West before getting bounced from the consolation bracket by Blue Valley North. They ended the weekend and the season with a 9-8 (7-4) win over Olathe East’s duo in the seventh-place match.

Dean and Dunn, who were regional runner-ups last weekend, also got a bye before defeating a Derby duo for their first win of the weekend. They were then defeated by the eventual doubles champion — Hudson Mosher and Blake Eason of Shawnee Mission East — to move to the consolation side of the bracket.

The LHS duo lost its first consolation match before capping off the two-day event with a 9-7 win over Washburn Rural in the 11th-place match to end their season on a high note.

Free State had its entire team at the state meet after winning a regional title, but nobody else was able to win a match on the weekend. The Firebirds finished with eight points as a team, while the Lions ended up with a total of four points.


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