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Bryan County set for state tourney
Head coach Tommy Gibbs and assistant coach Becky Lynn with BCHS tennis seniors (from left) Caitlin Crowe, Melinda Lape, Liz Cross, Ashly Strickland, Josh Stanfield, Trey Boatright, Lindsay Anderson, Jenna Howell and Kari Groover. - photo by Provided

Both the boys and girls BCHS tennis teams are headed to the state playoffs in what is quite possibly the best season ever for both factions.

The tough regional tournament in Savannah on Thursday may not have showcased their best performances, but it was enough to earn the girls a number two seed and the boys a number three seed.

In the first round, the girls played a highly competitive game against Jenkins County and managed a 3-2 victory. Savannah Country Day beat them in the second round.

Against Jenkins, Caitlin Crowe scored a singles victory while doubles victories were scored by Ashley Barfield and Kari Groover, and Ashly Strickland and Lindsay Anderson.

The boys were defeated by Claxton in round one, but got a second round bye due to a no-show forfeit from Jenkins County.

"I don’t feel we played well in the regionals, but that’s not enough to dampen our spirits as we’ve had a great season and we’ve made it to state," said coach Tommy Gibbs. "The girls were really getting beat by Jenkins, but I pulled them aside, and told them ‘you’re not going to wake up everyday to play your best’ and pulled them together. And that’s when character comes into play. Despite the odds, they dug deep and showed some opposition, and it was enough to pull out a number two seed. They then played Savannah Country Day, who is the best team in state. Nuff said there."

Both the boys and girls will host the first round of state versus Telfair, 1 p.m. start. The girls actually earned the right to host, which is the first time ever for this occurrence, and the Telfair boys, who earned the right to host, agreed to come down as a matter of convenience.

"Telfair beat the girls last year in the first round of state, but we are a totally different team this year," said Gibbs. "These girls are a lot stronger. I honestly think the boys are favored to win as well. If we show up and give it our best, we should advance."

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