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Bonham-Buitt capture doubles title

JACKSON — Chase Bonham and James Buitt of Bogue Chitto madehistory Tuesday in the Class 1A State Tennis Tournament. The seniorduo captured the boys doubles state championship, beating ZachMolan and Anthony Morris of Greenville St. Joseph 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 inthe finals.

Bonham and Buitt beat Turner-Newman of French Camp 6-1, 6-2 inyesterday’s semifinals at Parham Bridges Tennis Center.

In the finals, Bonham and Buitt claimed a sweat-soaked marathonthat lasted 2 and 1/2 hours.

“It was hot and it was a tough match,” said Bonham. “We got in ahole at 3-0 in second set. We got it together and didn’t give up.We outscored them 6-0 to win the set.

“We got in their heads,” added Bonham. “This was a feisty match.There was hollering and everything. It was tough.”

Bonham said he was confident the Bobcats would prevail. “To behonest, I was not worried at all. I had faith. It ain’t over untilthe fat lady sings.”

According to Bonham, the Greenville team played well. “St. Joe wasexcellent at the net and one of their guys had a real good serve. Ithink their bad attitudes cost them at the end.”

Bonham complimented his teammate. “James played really well,especially in the third set of that championship match. He turnedthe jets on.”

Asked about his game, Bonham said, “My serves were really good andI was actually pleased with my play for once. The fan support wehad was just unbelievable.”

Bogue Chitto tennis coach Donnie Stuart said Bonham and Buittplayed well. “They kept their composure and did what they did best.That last match was tough. The other boys (Molan-Morris) playedwell but they got the cramps.”

Stuart said his team was in better physical condition. “As manyhours as they practice, they were in good shape. They weredetermined not to lose.”

Stuart said that the BC girls doubles team of Jessica Melton andRandi Moak won a state title four years ago.

The two state tournament wins make Bonham and Buitt 18-0 thisseason. Both of them start classes at Copiah-Lincoln CommunityCollege this summer.

Buitt said he and Bonham were determined to bring home the title.”We had the will to win. We wanted it more than they did.

“We changed up our strategy a little bit,” said Buitt. “We tried towork it down the lanes in the second set. Our lobs weren’t realgood so we switched. We started working on their weaknesses.

“It feels great to bring home a state championship.”

Buitt applauded his teammate’s performance. “Chase played good. Henever quit. He kept on his game and made some solid shots. The St.Joe guys were a little cocky after that first set.”

Buitt said they might play for the Co-Lin Wolfpack. “If we can workit into our schedule, we’ll probably play tennis at Co-Lin.”

In team standings, Natchez Cathedral edged Gulfport St. John 4-3for the title. Bogue Chitto totaled 2 points and finished in a tiefor third place with East Webster.

Class 2A Results

Loyd Star and Wesson competed in theClass 2A State Tennis Tournament. Freshman Macie Case of Wessonreached the semifinals of girls singles. She defeated Goodin ofSeminary 6-1, 6-2 in her first test but fell to eventual statechampion Lindsey Summers of Madison St. Joseph in the semifinals,losing 6-0, 6-1.

In mixed doubles, Wesson’s Brady Knight and Ansley Schimmell wereeliminated by Davenport-Lepoutrie of Madison St. Joseph 6-0, 6-2 inthe quarterfinals.

In boys singles, Jeffie Smith of Loyd Star beat Kiser of Mantachie6-1, 6-1, in the quarterfinals. Smith caught Chandler Anthony ofSt. Andrew’s in the semifinals and lost 6-1, 6-0 to the eventualstate champion.

In girls doubles, Coffey-Loveless of Madison St. Joe beat CourtneyWatts and Haley Shedd of Loyd Star 6-1, 6-0 in thequarterfinals.

St. Andrew’s edged Madison St. Joe 13-10 for the team title.