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Trinity’s Timm falls in title match

NATCHEZ — Trinity Episcopal freshman Rudy Timm had a surprising run to the finals in No. 2 boys singles at the MAIS Class A South State Tennis Tournament.

Unfortunately for Timm, his run to the championship itself ended when Denny Johnson from Chamberlain-Hunt Academy, the No. 3 seed, defeated him in straight sets, 6-1, 7-5, Wednesday morning at Duncan Park.

“He was a lot better than me. He beat me bad in the first set. I tried to stay with him in the second set,” Timm said. “I had to play a defensive game. The second set went to a tiebreak. It was 5-5 and he won the last two games. He deserved to win.”

Timm added that he and Johnson took on each other earlier in the year with Johnson winning by the exact same score.

There was, as Timm put it, some luck on his side in getting to the finals. He was supposed to take on Riverfield’s Jason Livingston in the first round, but Livingston was sick and Timm won by default. Then Timm took care of Briarfield’s Street Buntyn 6-0, 6-0 in the quarterfinals.

Timm was supposed to have taken on Dakota Stephens of Franklin Academy in the semifinals, but instead found himself up against Connor Smith of University Christian School. Timm won that match 6-1, 6-3 to advance to the finals.

“I didn’t think I was going to get out of the first round,” Timm said. “I had to work to get through the semifinals.”

Timm will take on the No. 1 seed from Class A North State next Wednesday at the Class A State Tournament.

The match of the day on Wednesday was between a pair of high seeds in the semifinals in No. 1 boys singles. Kevin Millet of University Christian, the No. 3 seed, battled Andrew Hanna of Newton Academy, the No. 2 seed, for two and a half grueling hours.

In the end, Millet won an emotional match 6-4, 1-6, 7-6 (7-5) to take on top-seeded Casper Wansley of Laurel Christian School later in the day.

As for the tournament itself, tournament director and Huntington tennis coach Emily Guida said there were 15 schools represented.

“Newton and University Christians had the most seeded players. Briarfield and Franklin Academy had a lot of seeded players,” Guida said. “Tournament’s gone smoothly. Good sportsmanship. Wonderful cooperation from the weather. We had some wind (Tuesday), but it wasn’t really a factor.”

Although there were a lot of familiar schools in this year’s tournament, there were a few that haven’t played in Class A South State in the last year or two. Both Trinity Episcopal and Chamberlain-Hunt were back after two years in Class AA. After being in Class A North State last year, Brairfield made its return to South State.

Riverfield Academy was making what Guida said was its first-ever appearance after being in Class AA since the Louisiana Independent School Association (LISA) disbanded in 1992.

Guida said she wasn’t too surprised that Huntington’s tennis team did not fare so well this year at South State.

“I had a lot of young, inexperienced players. Some of them were playing for the first time ever. That’s part of it,” Guida said. “The other part is the competition. The teams from eastern Mississippi are the strong teams. They’re more mature. Briarfield and Riverfield have some good players, too.”

With the impending closing of Huntington School, it appears that the Class A South State Tennis Tournament will be moving to a new location.

“A couple of the schools from the eastern side of Mississippi have expressed an interest in hosting the tournament,” Guida said. “The teams that have come in have appreciated the friendliness and hospitality. They truly appreciate this facility here.”