By TRIBUNE SPORTS STAFF
---- — Eastern’s boys tennis team closed its regular season on a high note by beating Tipton 5-0 Monday at Greentown.
In singles play, Ryan Manfred was a 6-4, 6-1 winner at No. 1, Logan Colwell was a 6-2, 6-1 winner at No. 2 and Robbie Walling posted a 6-0, 6-1 win at No. 3.
In doubles play, Zach Walker and Austin Chase were 6-4, 6-2 winners at No. 1 and Daniel Pugh and Riley Haupert were 6-0, 6-1 winners at No. 2.
“It was nice to go out there and take care of business, especially against a potential sectional opponent,” Eastern coach Nick Sale said. “I thought all the way through the lineup, we played well. It kind of gives out guys a little bit of a boost going into practice [today] and getting ready for sectional this week. I think we’re ready to get things rolling.”
Eastern will take a 9-11 record into this week’s Kokomo Sectional.
The sectional draw was held later Monday. The opening round is Wednesday with Eastern vs. Western in one match and Mid-Indiana Conference co-champion Taylor vs. Tipton in the other. The semifinal matches on Thursday show Kokomo vs. the Eastern-Western winner and Northwestern vs. the Taylor-Tipton winner. The championship is Friday. All matches carry 4 p.m. starts.
Eastern 5, Western 0
The Comets used a balanced attack to roll by the Panthers 5-0 at Russiaville. Elena White scored two goals and dished an assist and Mikaela Malott, Savannah Rees and Arienna Ewing scored a goal apiece.
“I have to give Western a little bit [of credit], they came out strong,” Eastern coach Chris Rees said. “They put somebody on Savannah the whole game, but because of that we were able to distribute the ball. We had four different girls score our five goals so I was very pleased with that.
“Elena White had a very good game. She was able to penetrate their defense and she had some nice crosses. Mikaela Malott had a good game — she scored on a long kick from outside. And [’keeper] Brooke Stout had a good night with seven saves. She came out and was able to get their attack stopped a lot.”
Eastern improved to 11-2 overall and 4-1 in the Mid-Indiana Conference. Western dropped to 8-4 and 4-2.
Western ‘keeper Cybil Johnson had 18 saves.
Delphi 1, Mac 0
Maconaquah dropped a 1-0 decision in its regular-season finale. Erin Orttel recorded 13 saves in the loss.
The Braves (5-9) play Manchester a week from today in the Class A Blackford Sectional.
Western 4, Eastern 2
Mason May scored a brace for the Panthers, who overcame a 1-0 halftime deficit to take the 4-2 win on the Comets’ field. Also for Western, Chris Root had a goal and an assist, Nic Bewley scored a goal, Zac Simpson had an assist and ‘keeper Edgar Sanchez made four saves.
“Eastern played a good first half. They put a lot of pressure on us and they’re pretty solid at playing the long ball,” Western coach Mike Roe said, noting his squad was fortunate to trail by just one goal at halftime. “We came out in the second half and made some adjustments defensively. It’s not often that we man-mark somebody, but we had to keep the ball off Jordan VanMatre’s foot. He was creating a lot for them. Chris Carter did a really nice job of putting a lot of pressure on Jordan and limiting his time and touches with the ball.”
VanMatre scored both of Eastern’s goals. Delon Tuggle had seven saves in goal.
Eastern coach John VanMatre liked how his squad played. He was nonplussed with the officiating.
“Normally I don’t complain about refs, but the ref really handed them the game,” he said. “He gave them two PKs that were not [justified] and on their third goal, our defender had the ball cleanly and he got clipped from behind, falls down, and they go in and score. So three of their four goals, in a well-refed game, they would not have happened. It was a young guy who hasn’t refed a whole lot and this match was just too fast-paced for him.”
Western improved to 11-2-1 overall and 5-1 in the Mid-Indiana Conference. Eastern fell to 9-4 and 4-2. The squads finished second and third in the league behind champion Northwestern.
West Lafayette 4, NW 2
Northwestern dropped to 11-4 with the loss to visiting West Lafayette. Blaine Brutus scored the Tigers’ goals, off assists from Jacob Wagner. Tiger ‘keeper Evan LaDow had eight saves.
“We didn’t do as well [Monday] as we have in the last few games of possessing the ball. They ended up out-shooting us for the game,” Northwestern coach Jim Wagner said. “We need to tighten up the ball control and improve the defense. Obviously, it’s going to be a short postseason if we’re giving up four goals, so we have a few days to get that back in shape.”
Northwestern closes its regular season Thursday against Logansport.
Manchester 2, Mac 0
Maconaquah dropped a 2-0 decision to Manchester.
Delphi def. Taylor 25-18, 25-15, 25-19
Hannah Mullinax and Rachel Hafley served 10 points apiece to lead Taylor in its road loss. Katelyn Duncan and Valary Farmer added eight points apiece.
Mullinax also had a team-high 27 serve receptions.