Originally Posted Online: May 12, 2012, 9:35 pm
Last Updated: May 12, 2012, 9:35 pm
Maroons use depth to win WB6 boys tennis title
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By Frank Cash
QUINCY -- Depth was certainly the key to Moline¹s fourth straight Western Big Six Conference boys' tennis tournament championship on Saturday.
With the school¹s prom starting a few hours later, Jason Jones was grateful for something else.
"I was very pleased with their focus," said Jones, the Maroons¹ head coach. "It was nice of them to keep that all the way through the tournament."
Moline captured both the singles and doubles championships to win with 27 points, while Alleman placed second with 15. Quincy finished third with eight points.
Tyler Buenting and Jed Wood won the doubles title as the No. 1 seed. The Maroons¹ duo won all three matches in two sets, including a 6-3, 6-0 victory over teammates Richard Henninig and Dalton Hart in the championship.
Henninig and Hart were the No. 3 seed and reached the final with a 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 win over second-seeded Jack O¹Connor and Daniel Hayashi of Quincy.
Moline sophomore Justin Rumley put the finishing touches on his team¹s championship. After dropping the first set 6-3 to top-seeded Marco Franco of Alleman, the second-seeded Rumley led the second set 5-2 when Franco retired because of a knee injury suffered earlier in the match.
"Marco¹s a great kid who plays hard," Jones said. "You hate to see a match end the way that one did. Justin has really worked hard this season. He¹s played a lot of great competition and he¹s lost several more matches than he¹s won."
Franco led 3-2 in the first set when he hurt his knee. His mobility wasn¹t quite the same after that. It was only the second time Rumley and Franco played this season.
"Marco is a really good player," Rumley said. "It¹s nice to win this as a sophomore. I feel really blessed to be able to play the competition that I have this year and to have this team around me."
Pranav Puri of Moline won the third-place match with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Ryan Drone of Alleman.
"³It¹s great to have all of our entries in the semifinals," Jones said. "It¹s really a testament to their hard work. We¹ve played a touch schedule but it¹s prepared us well."
Rumley was only a part-time varsity player as a freshman. He feels like he¹s more of a part of the team this year. Next weekend¹s sectional, hosted by Rock Island, will be the Maroons¹ next step on the path to success.
"Everyone plays hard and pushes each other to do their best," Rumley said. "Our goal is to definitely win the sectional team title. It¹d be even better to get our top six back to state."