Niagara Gazette — Niagara-Wheatfield’s boys tennis team had a good showing Friday at the Niagara Frontier League doubles tournament at Grand Island, taking second place and earning two sectional bids.
With first place all but decided before play started — North Tonawanda’s brotherly duo of John-Michael and Andrew LeMar, both undefeated in singles play on the season, won for the third straight year — N-W’s Austin Hayes and Joe Lebold battled to make it to the championship match and earn the second sectional doubles bid.
The two beat Lockport’s Bailey Reid and Jeremy Cogovan in the quarterfinals, 6-4, 6-3, setting up a semifinal showdown with Grand Island’s Jake Sweeney and Collin McMahon, who topped Kenmore West’s Niko Mancuso and Radomir Pupovac in a three set marathon, 2-6, 7-5, 6-2.
Hayes-Lebold and Sweeney-McMahon split the first two sets, with the GI pair winning the first 6-2 and the N-W duo responding 6-3. Neither gave way in the third until Hayes-Lebold managed to win a four-game tiebreaker for the 7-6 win.
“I can honestly say the NFL was represented well today,” said NT coach and proud father John LeMar. “N-W won a very long, heartbreaking match over Grand Island in the semis. That was a great, great match. There was probably five or six teams today that were real solid.”
The Falcons were shutout by the LeMar brothers in the championship, but earned the right to play in next week’s Section VI Tournament (3 p.m., May 21-22, Lancaster HS). Hayes and Lebold will be joined by teammate Jason Bolea, who earned one of the league’s two singles bids based on his record this season.
Lewiston-Porter’s pair of Sean Richardson and Ben Stayner finished third. They beat Niagara Falls’ Spencer Ventresca and Zach Krebs, 6-2, 6-3, in the quarterfinals, and were the only team to win a game against the LeMars in a 2-6, 2-6 loss. They topped the Grand Island team in a one-set game for third place, 6-2.