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A tough loss for Topsail

Parks Tompkins and the rest of the Topsail High School boys tennis team face Cedar Ridge in the third round of the 2A state playoffs Monday. (Photo by Paul Stephen)

Topsail’s tennis season ended in heartbreaking fashion Monday afternoon.

The Pirates were edged by Hillsborough Cedar Ridge 5-4 in the third round of the 2A dual team playoffs after the Red Wolves pulled out a wild 11-10(1) win at No. 3 doubles.

“We had eight guys, all seniors, and they all stepped up and played their part the whole year and it just didn’t go our way today,” Topsail coach Troy McGee said.

The match was tied at 3-3 after singles. Cedar Ridge (18-3) got wins at No. 1, 3 and 4, while the Pirates (16-3) earned victories at 2, 5 and a three-set win by Sammy Johnson at 6.

Johnson, who was filling in for Topsail’s regular starter, won five consecutive points in the third-set tiebreaker to earn the 6-2, 2-6, 10-7 victory.

“Sammy’s win put us in a position to win this match,” McGee said.

In doubles, Johnson paired with Davis Ball for the first time this season. They squared off against Peyton Pappas and Trevor Phares at No. 3 doubles.

Cedar Ridge got off to a good start with two breaks and a hold to take a 3-0 lead. Topsail battled back to go up 5-3 and had multiple opportunities to break Pappas and take a commanding lead, but failed to convert.

“I thought that was the most critical game in the whole match,” McGee said. “They got it back to 5-4 and that gave them the confidence to keep playing.”

The match was tied at 7-7, but six consecutive service breaks sent the match into a tiebreaker. Topsail did have a game point at 9-9, but the Red Wolves were able to break, only to give it right back.

In the tiebreaker, the Pirates committed too many errors and Cedar Ridge finished it off with a putaway volley.

“For those two guys playing together for the first time, I thought they did almost as best as they could,” McGee said. “Our No. 6 player was out and our No. 4 player who plays No. 3 doubles has a torn tendon and couldn’t compete in doubles.”

The Red Wolves had taken a 4-3 lead with a 10-5 win at No. 1 doubles. Topsail squared the contest at 4-4 after a 10-5 victory at No. 2 doubles.

Cedar Ridge 5, Topsail 4

Third round 2A dual team playoffs

Singles: No. 1 Zac Marion (CR) def. Parks Tompkins 6-1, 6-4; No. 2 Brady Trevisan (T) def. Erik Lutz 6-4, 6-3; No. 3 Brandon Phares (CR) def. Foster Hawkins 6-2, 6-3; No. 4 Ryan Hudson (CR) def. Matt Underwood 6-1, 6-1; No. 5 Parker Luring (T) def. Forrest Heath 6-2, 6-1; No. 6 Sammy Johnson (T) def. Peyton Pappas 6-2, 2-6, 10-7.

Doubles: No. 1 Marion/Lutz (CR) def. Tompkins/Trevisan 10-5; No. 2 Hawkins/Luring (T) def. B. Phares/Heath 10-5; No. 6 Pappas/Trevor Phares (CR) def. Johnson/Davis Ball 11-10(1).