Rains can’t stop a good cause

Published 12:00 am Sunday, June 10, 2001

Despite being trimmed back to a two-day event, the 22nd Annual AmSouth Cancer Tennis Tournament, which was played at several Miss-Lou area tennis courts, was a big success.

Over 200 people from throughout the South participated in this year’s tournament. Sunday’s matches were played at Duncan Park, Beau Pr\u00E9 and Roy and Sara Garcia’s tennis courts.

&uot;We grossed, with all of our donations from businesses, about eight- or nine-thousand dollars,&uot; co-tournament director Susan Hogue said. &uot;Half of the net proceeds go to the American Cancer Society and the other half goes back to the tennis community.&uot;

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Participants from Natchez, Vidalia and Jefferson County came out on top in several divisions. In the men’s 8.5 doubles final, top-seeded Frankie Spence and Richard White of Natchez defeated second-seeded Charles Crump and Mickey Thornton of Brandon by way of a coin toss.

In the other finals determined by a coin flip, top-seeded Carlyn McKinney of Natchez and Janice Williams of Destrahan, La. defeated Jessica Huckaby of Natchez and Lisa Sandel of Vidalia.

In the women’s 6.5 doubles final, second-seeded Karen Partridge and Debra Bassi defeated Beth Foster and Susan Kettering in an all-Natchez match, 6-0, 6-0.

&uot;I don’t know how we beat them so easily,&uot; Bassi said. &uot;It rained in between the matches. We won the first match 6-0 and we had gotten to 4-0 in the second set when it started raining. It was a good match.&uot;

&uot;We had a lot of fun. It was good to have an all-Natchez final,&uot; Partridge said. &uot;We were on a mission. We were preparing for the state tournament in two weeks.&uot;

In the women’s 8.5 doubles final, top-seeded Sandra Keaveney and Fiona Pobke of Lorman defeated second-seeded Noreen Pyron and Darla Vincent of Natchez, 7-6 (2), 6-1.

In the men’s 6.5 doubles final, second-seeded Michael Blain of Natchez and Michael Tims of Cleveland, Miss. defeated Raymond Vince of Baton Rouge, La. and Obie Watts of Plaquemine, La., 5-7, 6-3 and 6-0 in the tiebreaker set.

&uot;My elbow hurts,&uot; Tims said. &uot;We were able to come back by just not giving up. They’re mad because they lost.&uot;

In the men’s 7.5 final, Larry Hughes and Dave Montgomery of Natchez defeated David McGraw of Prairieville, La. and Dwight McGraw of Bolton, Miss., 6-4, 7-6 (8-6).

&uot;I was a very competitive match after the rain delays,&uot; Hughes said. &uot;We pulled it out. We enjoyed it. We’re looking forward to defending our title next year.&uot;

In the women’s 7.5 final, top-seeded Jeannie Peabody of Natchez and Mary Ruth Caldwell of Vidalia defeated Lynn Boudreaux and Nicole Kleinpeter of Baton Rouge in a two and a half-hour match played at the Beau Pr\u00E9 tennis courts, 1-6, 6-4 and 7-6 (9-7) in the tiebreaker set.

&uot;It was a tough match,&uot; Caldwell said. &uot;We got to play at Beau Pr\u00E9 because it didn’t rain out there.&uot;

In the mixed doubles 7.5 final, John Moffett of Fayette and Mary Sawardecker of Natchez defeated Diana Beauregard of Baton Rouge and Fred Shearer of Plaquemine, 6-1, 6-3.

In the mixed doubles round-robin division, Denise Lambert of Monticello and Richard Panzica of Brookhaven came in first place, winning three matches. Diana and Rodney Parish of Brandon had to settle for second place despite also winning three matches because Lambert and Panzica defeated them 2-6, 7-5, 7-4 (tiebreaker set) in the fourth round.

One final that was not played Sunday was the mixed doubles 6.5 final between the team of Sissy Bergeron of Baton Rouge and Obie Watts of Plaquemine against second-seeded Raymond and Lynda Vince of Baton Rouge. That final will be played in Baton Rouge at a undisclosed date.