The Ankeny Centennial boys’ tennis team proved on Friday that it can play with some of the state’s best squads.
The Jaguars placed second among eight teams in the Dennis Hoefle Invitational at Ankeny. They finished with 58 points, more than twice as many as last season.
Valley won the tournament for the third straight year, racking up 75 points. The Tigers handed Centennial its only dual-meet loss on April 12.
“Things are going much better this year than last year,” said Centennial coach Tami Lewton. “I believe we were seventh at last year’s tournament.”
Dowling Catholic placed third with 49 points, one more than Johnston. Ankeny finished seventh with 30 points.
The Jaguars were led by freshman Will Blevins, who placed second at No. 1 singles. He advanced to the championship match before dropping a 6-7 (5), 6-3, 1-0 (1) decision to Dowling’s David Lu.
Centennial also got a runner-up finish from the No. 2 doubles team of James Cole and Joel Unick. They posted a 6-2, 7-6 (1) victory over Ankeny’s Andrew Snyder and Andrew Schon in the semifinals before falling to Valley’s Moise Habienza and Roy Jensen, 6-1, 6-4, in the finals.
Snyder and Schon then rebounded to beat Johnston’s Quincy Pullen and Nicholas Launderville, 5-7, 6-2, 1-0 (7), in the third-place match. They were the Hawks’ top finishers.
Centennial’s Samson Densmore placed third at No. 2 singles. He lost to eventual champion Neil Sura of Valley in the semifinals.
Also placing third for the Jaguars were the No. 1 doubles team of Sam Marold and Ryan Lofgren, as well as the No. 4 doubles team of Matt DenAdel and Andrew Unick. Marold and Lofgren lost in the semifinals to eventual champions Brian VandenBerg and Nicholas Matthews of Mason City, who defeated them for the second time in four days.
“Kudos to the guys for doing so much work in the offseason,” Lewton said. “It has really paid off. I’m very proud of all of them.”
Ankeny’s Luke Parkinson and Cade Davis placed fourth at No. 3 doubles. They reached the semifinals before dropping a 5-7, 7-5, 1-0 (5) decision to Des Moines Roosevelt’s Otto Gunderson and Erik Ingebretsen.