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Sports: Kernels finish 13th at state tennis meet

SIOUX FALLS -- The Mitchell High tennis team finished in 13th place at the state tennis tournament with 146 points here Saturday and also had a consolation champion.

SIOUX FALLS -- The Mitchell High tennis team finished in 13th place at the state tennis tournament with 146 points here Saturday and also had a consolation champion.

Rapid City Stevens won the team title with 765 points and Sioux Falls O'Gorman took second with 545.5 points.

In the No. 3 doubles for Mitchell, Shea Patrick and Joe Graves won the consolation title with a 10-8 win over Spearfish's Josh Knutson and Pat Hurst.

After losing their first match to Pierre Thursday, Patrick and Graves reeled off four wins to take fifth place. They finished their season with a 15-11 record.

"Shea and Joe didn't play well in the first round," MHS head coach Gayle Klein said. "They got it together after that. They were down 5-2 in the finals of consolation, but they had a great comeback to win. They had their hands full.

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"All the kids played really well this weekend. We had some close matches, but won most of the ones we thought we would. It's always nice to do that, and finish ahead of a few ESD schools."

On the singles side, Sam Butterfield reached the third flight consolation championship but fell 10-4 to Rapid City Central's Dexter Lappe. Butterfield defeated Spearfish's Todd Tan 10-2 in the consolation semifinals to advance.

"Sam was disappointed he couldn't pull it out," Klein said of Butterfield. "But he did a great job to make it that far."

In the fourth flight, Mitchell's Shea Patrick fell 10-2 to Yankton's Jacob Rockne in the consolation semifinals and was eliminated. Rockne lost 10-4 to Madison's Andy Lauck in the consolation championship match.

The Kernels lose Butterfield and Josh Lorenzen to graduation. Lorenzen was the No. 1 singles player and part of the No. 1 doubles team with Tyler Osterloo.

Lorenzen is headed to play tennis at the University of Sioux Falls next year.

"Josh is a great all-around player who we're going to miss," Klein said. "USF is getting a good one. He had a good state tournament, but just had some tough draws. But we have a lot of kids chomping at the bit to get a varsity spot. The future looks good."

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