By BOB ETTINGER
For the Star Beacon
Just three local tennis players survived the first day of competition in the area’s sectional tournaments.
Geneva’s Jacob Groce advanced to the quarterfinals in singles action and Perry’s Alex Guthrie and Dan Walker made the semifinal round in Division II action at Brush.
Groce will return to action against Alex Machtay of Beachwood on Friday at 4 p.m. and Guthrie and Walker will play Clay Hribar and Robert Stroup of University School on Saturday at 9 a.m.
After a bye, Groce downed Devesh Modi of Hawken, 6-1, 6-2, and Tejas Kashyap of Orange, 6-0, 6-2.
Ryan Best of Perry, Alex Gerdes of Conneaut, Jacob Crislip of Edgewood and Zach Mucci of Jefferson each advanced to the third round before falling in singles play.
Guthrie and Walker beat Dustin Thompson and Kevin Maurer of Edgewood, 6-0, 6-0, Max Pollock and Marshall Rankin of Hawken, 6-0, 6-1, and Adam Shoemaker and John Ciabotti of Chagrin Falls, 6-0, 6-3.
Ford Carlisle and Joe Roney teamed to reached the third round as did the team of Brock Ebersole and Brent McFarland for Geneva.
Lofan Stowell and Kyle Downs paired up to win two matches at the Solon sectional, falling one victory shy of reaching the district tournament.
“They asked if they could play doubles tofether and they had not played doubles, at least for us,” Lakeside coach Bob Walters said. “The kids wanted to try something different and they played extremely well.”
Stowell and Downs topped Chris Adams and Joe Gardner of South, 6-0, 6-1 and Brendan O’Brien and Antonio Garlisi of Chardon, 6-1, 6-3, before losing to Kornel Foremski and Mateo Burrell of Shaker Heights.
“Though they lost, they played an extremely good team,” Walters said. “It was rewarding for them to have that opportunity to get that far and lose to a very good Shaker Heights team.”
The Dragons’ team of Jake Campbell and Ryan Applebee beat a team from Garfield before losing to the team from Solon, which was seeded second.
“The kids wanted to go as far as they could go,” Walters said. “In reality, they were a little intimidated at the beginning of the match, but they played some very good points. That was a very big team in terms of height and they were experienced players.
“(Jake and Ryan) fought for every point.”