The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Doubles duos of John Hanna, Alden Bothamley and Talia Johnson, Kelli Bighorn each win one at state tournament

 

Michelle Bolton Photography

The Goldendale girls tennis team poses with their league championship trophy shortly after the regular season concluded. Top row from left: Assistant coach Tiffany Ferch, Alyssa Simmons, Leslie Smith, Kristin Bighorn, Kelli Bighorn, and head coach Channon Bighorn. Bottom from left: Ashley Bartkowski, Tayler Wells, Kylee Beam, Halie Allen and Talia Johnson.

For the second straight year, the Goldendale tennis team sent both a boys and a girls doubles team to the state championships, and for the second straight year, both teams were able to pick up wins against some of the best teams in the state.

Girls doubles of Talia Johnson and Kelli Bighorn, playing at state for the second straight year, won a match and lost two in the double elimination tournament and just missed placing, while boys doubles of John Hanna and Alden Bothamley also finished with a win and two losses over the weekend at the Yakima Tennis Club.

Hanna, a senior, and Bothamley, a junior, have only played doubles for the last couple of weeks and were making their state debuts when they immediately were faced with the toughest test they've seen all season.

They took on last year's doubles champs of Okanogan's Max Cheeseman and Jay Nearants in the opening round and fell in a 6-1, 6-0 decision. Cheeseman and Nearants went on to win their next three matches and finish as the doubles champions for the second straight season.

After the opening round loss, Hanna and Bothamley faced elimination in their next match, Chewelah's Keith Justice and Trevor Arnold. The Goldendale duo kept their season alive for another day, winning in straight sets (6-4, 6-3) and advancing to within one round of medaling.

All teams played two matches on Friday with the tournament continuing Saturday.

Hanna and Bothamley's run came to an end in their first match Saturday, falling in two sets (6-0, 6-3) to Cascade's Finn Johnson and Dylan Kuehni, who went on to finish eighth overall out of the 16-team field.

It was an improbable run for the pair, who have played mostly singles throughout the season. They joined forces late in the regular season, meshed at the right time, and rolled to state after a fourth place showing at the district match.

Hanna and Bothamley joined two other SCAC teams (Zillah's Brock Ellis and Payton Whitaker and Connell's Colin Poe and James Coiciasure) in winning one match before being eliminated. No boys team from the SCAC placed.

After a record setting regular season for the Goldendale girls tennis team which ended with a South Central Athletic Conference league title, two girls doubles teams advanced to state, although one as an alternate.

Senior Halie Allen and sophomore Kristin Bighorn earned a spot as alternates after a fourth place district finish, but weren't able to get into the state tournament.

Johnson, a senior, and Kelli Bighorn, a junior, did get into the tournament after finishing third at districts and seizing the final bit to state from the SCAC. They were making their second straight trip to the big dance after debuting last year and finishing 1-2.

Right off the bat on Friday they were locked into a tough, back and forth match with Grace and Kate Jung, from Cascade Christian, in a match that saw the Jungs take both sets 7-6 after winning tiebreakers in both.

It was a tough match to drop to a team that went on to finish third overall during the weekend, but Johnson and Bighorn bounced back strong with a sweep of Stevenson's Hannah Cole and Leslie Ramos.

The Goldendale duo avoided elimination with the 6-3, 6-0, win against the team just a few hours west up the Columbia River, and had a night to prepare for their next opponents, Granger's Kaitlyn Roettger and Sophie Blodgett.

The teams split both meetings in the regular season, with Granger winning 7-5, 7-6, on March 26 in Goldendale and the Wolves taking the April 17 matchup 6-3, 5-7, 6-3, on April 17 in Granger.

However, things went in Granger's favor on Saturday, with the Spartans winning in two sets (7-5, 6-3) to eliminate Goldendale's top doubles duo.

Granger's group went on to finish eighth after losing their next match, and were the only SCAC team to place in the girls doubles tournament.

 

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