Kingsford tops Escanaba for league championship

Prep tennis

Burt Angeli | Daily News Escanaba No. 1 doubles players Paul Carne, left, and Nick Dufour get some advice from assistant coach Chris Ogren during their Great Northern Conference championship match Thursday in Kingsford. Carne and Dufour won the title with a 7-6 (7-4), 6-4 win over the host Flivvers’ Daunte Fortner and Tyler Beauchamp.

KINGSFORD — Escanaba pushed Kingsford to the limit Thursday, but fell a little short in the seven-team Great Northern Conference tennis tournament.

The Flivvers totaled 22 points to take top honors, with Esky second at 18 and West Iron County third at 17. The Eskymos won three of the eight flight championships and finished runner-up in two flights.

“It was a great team effort,” said Esky coach Tom Penegor, whose top three doubles teams posted titles. “We had five in the finals. We were right there.”

What hurt the Eskymos was three flights losing their first match and scoring no points. The Flivvers did not have any first-round setbacks.

“None of my kids lost in the first round and that was huge,” Kingsford coach Mark Shanks said. “You look at the scoreboard and that was the difference.”

Esky eniors Paul Carne and Nick Dufour defeated Kingsford’s Daunte Fortner and Tyler Beauchamp 7-6 (7-4) 6-4.

“They came from behind 5-2 in the first set and won on a tiebreaker,” Penegor said. “They played hard and won the next set. It was a good match and good win for them, especailly being seniors.”

Brandon Kangas and Addam Claes captured No. 2 doubles by defeating WIC’s Dante Thurston and Tyler McCarthy, 6-3, 6-2.

“They were the top seed,” Penegor said. “They had a strong showing and played very well. They have very good chemistry.”

Alex Valentine and Soren Thompson claimed the No. 3 doubles title with a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 win over West Iron County’s Seth Miatech and Steven Nelson.

“They lost the first set and came back and won the next two sets,” Penegor said. “They pulled out a nice win over West Iron County.”

Finishing runner-up for the Eskymos were Josh Grassel , who lost to Kingsford’s Brett Hicks 6-3, 6-1, at No. 2 singles and the No. 4 doubles team of Max Shariff and Dylon Rosenfeldt, who lost to Kingsford’s Reece Fortner-Ethan Fox, 6-4, 6-2.

West Iron County will visit Escanaba Tuesday before Wednesday’s U.P. finals.

The summary:

Standings — Kingsford 22, Escanaba 18, West Iron County 17, Menominee and Marquette 9, Munising 3, Gladstone 2

SINGLES — 1. Alec Olivier, Mqt., d. Jon Antilla, Men, 6-1, 6-4; 2. Brett Hicks, K, d. Josh Grassel, E, 6-3, 6-1; 3. Nick McCole, K, d. Levi Kempka, Men, 6-2, 6-2; 4. AJ Weisnicht, WIC, d. Kees Gray, Mqt, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-4.

DOUBLES –1. Paul Carne-Nick Dufour, E, d. Daunte Fortner-Tyler Beauchamp, K, 7-6 (7-4), 6-4; 2. Addam Claes-Brandon Kangas, E, d. Dante Thurston-Tyler McCarthy, WIC, 6-3, 6-2; 3. Alex Valentine-Soren Thompson, E, d. Seth Miatech-Steven Nelson, WIC, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2; 4. Reece Fortner-Ethan Fox, K, d. Max Shariff-Dylan Rosenfeldt, E, 6-4, 6-2.

Burt Angeli of the Iron Mountain Daily News contributed to this report.