Wesson downs Raleigh in tie-breaker

Published 8:37 pm Wednesday, March 22, 2023

WESSON — Boys doubles partners Connor Brister and Ben McKenzie won the clinching set for Wesson in a 4-3 win over Raleigh Wednesday night. They were also the last players to walk off the court having played two tie breakers. 

Brister and McKenzie lost their first set 7-6, won the second 6-2 and won the final tie-breaker 10-1. McKenzie said he felt the turning point in the match was when the opposing team got frustrated in the tie-breaker. 

His senior partner Brister fired the winning shot down the line to close out the day. 

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“It is pretty scary going to a tiebreaker. It gets your adrenaline going,” Brister said. “It felt good to close it out though.” 

The Cobra’s mixed doubles partners Brenden Duguid and Alliston Hamilton lost their first set 3-6, won the second 7-6 and won on a 11-9 tie-breaker. Wesson singles player Macy Loy won her court 6-3, 6-0. 

Coleman Bonds won the boys singles court for Wesson 6-4, 6-2. He was previously Brister’s playing partner before this season. McKenzie said he and Brister had a tough time adjusting to each other at the start of the season. 

“Everything was sporadic. We just had to learn from each other,” McKenzie said. 

Brister added they got the chemistry going after a few practices. He is sad it is his senior season but he is sharing knowledge with McKenzie. His partner has a bright future ahead of him. 

McKenzie started playing tennis when he was six-years-old and Brister started when he was in eighth grade. After high school, Brister wants to go to Co-Lin and then Mississippi State to become an electrical engineer. McKenzie dreams of playing tennis. 

Before the season ends, their goal is to win district and advance to state. “It is an experience you will love,” Brister said. He made it with his former partner Bonds last year. They lost in the first round of the state tournament. 

Bonds said he hopes to return to state and make it further into the week this time. The loss last year has motivated him to come to practice more and work on his skills. He spends three to four days a week practicing tennis and is trying to make the most of his last season. 

“It is a little scarier than it has been. You know every shot counts more than ever. It was a lot more tense than it was last year,” Bonds said. “It means a lot. It means more.”

On the court, he has adjusted to playing without a doubles partner. His strategic shots and patience put away his opponent today and resulted in the win. He said singles requires a lot more movement across the court and all of the responsibility is on him. 

After high school, he plans to go to college and become an engineer. While he has not decided where he will go yet, Co-Lin and Mississippi State are the likely stops. 

Bonds started playing tennis when he was in eighth grade. His mom told him he should pick up a racket and he did.
“I enjoy playing with my friends. We got better and better. It made me love it,” Bonds said.