James Wood, Sherando may meet in conference tourney

STEPHENS CITY – James Wood beat Sherando 5-4 in Conference 21A boys tennis Tuesday afternoon.

But the two Frederick County rivals could play a third time Friday at James Wood – with Handley High School’s Tuesday’s defeat of Millbrook.

The contest will mark a first-round match in the conference tournament.

“We won’t know for sure when and where we play next,” James Wood coach Bryan Levi said Tuesday, “but it’s a good guess that if Handley defeats Millbrook, we’ll get the first conference tournament match at home against, probably, Sherando.”

Sherando coach Steve Jennings confirmed the news: “I’m not 100 percent sure but I think if Handley wins, we would face James Wood again.”

It would be the third time this season the traditional rivals have squared off. James Wood won 6-3 on April 20. Tuesday, the Warriors depended on an overtime match between their No. 3 doubles team of Quintin DeGroot and Tucker Myers and the Colonels’ 3s, Austin Harney and Chase Messick.

DeGroot had claimed a singles win over James Wood’s Jacob Calabrese, 10-0; Myers had yet to play. Sherando’s Jake Baggett had knocked off Harney at No. 4 singles 10-5 and double-winner Jonathan Elkins had whipped Colonel Messick 10-0 at No. 5.

With DeGroot, Myers, Harney and Messick playing the last match of the day, the team score was tied 4-4 when they met. The Wood pair won the match 11-10 (7-4 in overtime) to pull the battle out.

“It feels pretty good to beat Sherando. That’s the rival right there,” said Colonel No. 1 player Evan Dokken, a three-year starter.

Actually, Sherando led what turned out to be the match-determiner, 3-0, when coach Jennings strode over to Court 3 at Sherando High School and gathered with DeGroot, wearing sunglasses in shady conditions, and Myers, a freshman.

“I told them that they had to stay aggressive because those were good players across the court. I think they got a little ahead and then they got tight,” said Jennings.

DeGroot and Myers were ahead 9-6 when Harney and Messick made their move.

“It’s always good to beat Sherando and provide some confidence for us going into the postseason,” said Levi.

Jennings said he was proud of his Warriors, who lost by three matches when the teams met earlier.

“That shows improvement. You’ve got to like that,” said Jennings.

“If anything, I think they’re improved,” offered Levi.

The big winner for the day was JW junior, Dokken. After dispensing of Sherando No. 1 Cameron Spieles 10-1, he and Noah Borromeo dropped Spieles-Baggett 10-8. Earlier Borromeo, at 2, took the measure of Sherando’s Seth Anton 10-0.

Dokken-Borromeo led 4-1 earlier, but fell behind 7-6 before rallying.

Sherando’s Baggett topped Harney 10-5 at No. 4; Elkins – who teamed with Anton to beat the doubles team of Calabrese and Trent Richards 10-6 – whipped Messick 10-5 at 5.

Richards, at 6, dropped Sherando’s Dwayne Passerini 10-6.

Conference 21A seeds tennis teams based on a power rating that depends on strength of schedule. The Colonels are 10-4, while Sherando fell to 6-10