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Smith advances at state

Andalusia’s Chris Smith beat Jemison’s Drew Posey and Haleyville’s Dustin Young in No. 2 singles to advance to the semifinals of the Class 4A state tennis tournament in Mobile. | Catherine C. Wofford/For the Star-News

There’s only one man standing.

Andalusia sophomore Chris Smith won his No. 2 singles tennis matches against Jemison and Haleyville Thursday to advance to the semifinals of the Class 4A state tournament at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile.

Smith beat Jemison’s Drew Posey 6-7 (3-7), 6-4, 6-2 in a tiebreaker in the first round, and cruised to a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Haleyville’s Dustin Young in the quarterfinals.

“Forehands, forehands and forehands,” Smith said were the keys to the win over Haleyville Thursday.

Smith said after he fell in the first game to Posey that he “regrouped” and started making shots.

“I took it point by point and was patient on the big shots,” he said.

This will be Smith’s third trip to the semifinals at the state tournament. Two years ago, he advanced as the No. 6 seed to the finals, and finished in the semifinals last year.

Smith will begin play today in the semifinals at around 8:30 a.m., where he will play Douglas’ Michael McLauglin.

When asked if he was nervous, Smith said he wasn’t and that he’s looking forward to the finals, where he said he hopes to match up with UMS-Wright.

“I’m just looking forward to the finals, hopefully,” Smith said. “I’m determined to beat them (UMS-Wright) this year.”

Andalusia’s Alex Evans lost to St. James’ Mason Blackwell in No. 1 singles; Andalusia’s Mayur Patel lost to Douglas’ Josh Walker in the quarterfinals in No. 3 singles; Andalusia’s Jackson Moore lost to UMS-Wright’s Manning Courtney in the quarterfinals in No. 4 singles; Andalusia’s Jonathan Wiggins lost to Douglas’ Mark Miller in the quarterfinals in No. 5 singles; and Andalusia’s Brandon Scruggs lost to St. James’ Matt Fields in the first round in No. 6 singles.

“Our youth got to us at today,” AHS boys tennis coach Perry Dillard said. “Today was the first time that I could tell it was nerves.

“I mean, we’re really young,” he said. “We’ve got five people that are sophomores and freshmen. I was more happy about being (at the state tournament), then just hoping lets see what happens.”

In No. 1 doubles, Evans and Smith beat Cherokee County’s Granser Surrett and Zach Bishop in the first round, but lost to UMS-Wright in the quarterfinals.

In No. 2 doubles, Patel and Moore lost to Haleyville’s Dustin Young and Christian Caldwell in the quarterfinals.

In No. 3 doubles, Scruggs and May lost to Jemison’s Cole Thompson and Taylor Long in the quarterfinals.

Andalusia’s Aubrey Boyington lost to Booker T. Washington’s Catherine Sikes in No. 1 singles; Andalusia’s Lauren Beasley lost to Oneonta’s Alesha Triplett in No. 2 singles; Andalusia’s Anna Bay McCord lost to Deshler’s Mary Davis in No. 3 singles; Andalusia’s Jennifer Botta lost to Oneonta’s Katherine Wester in No. 4 singles; Andalusia’s Susie Watson lost to UMS-Wright’s Sarah Catherine King in the quarterfinals in No. 5 singles; and Andalusia’s Meredith Tillman lost to Brooks’ Whitney Bayles in the quarterfinals in No. 6 singles.

In doubles, Watson and Tillman beat Douglas’ Williams and Jackson in the first round in No. 3 doubles, but lost to St. James in the quarterfinals.

In No. 1 and 2 doubles, Boyington and McCord lost to Guntersville’s Lucy Bradley and Megham Smith; and Beasley and Botta lost to Booker T. Washington’s Starr and Cocking.