MURFREESBORO, Tenn. - What started as a point dropped here and there quickly turned into a snowball for Forrest Hooton and Adam Wolfe in their Class A/AA tennis state championship match Friday morning.
The Signal Mountain doubles team had three set points up 5-3 in the first set against Middle Tennessee Christian's Kip Kahler and Mark Clairborne, but the Cougars rallied to win in a tiebreaker and carried that momentum into the second set for a 6-1 victory and the title at Old Fort State Park.
"We gave them a run for their money, but we started to miss some returns," Hooton said. "We've had problems all year closing out matches, and today we missed some crucial first serves. Then they had so much momentum in the second set. We could have played better, but they had so much confidence then."
Wolfe will spend the next two years on a mission trip before heading to Brigham Young University.
"I feel we had a successful year," he said. "We've improved so much -- not only as tennis players, but as friends and family."
McCallie's Daniel Pare fell 6-0, 6-3 to Memphis University School's Marshall Sharp in the Division II-AA state singles final. It was Sharp's third state championship, as he won in 2010 and 2011 before falling to teammate Walker Sims in last season's semifinals. Pare knocked off Sims in the 2013 semifinals Thursday.
"Daniel was a little tight to start with. He made more errors today than he had made in a long time, but a lot of that had to do with Marshall," McCallie coach Eric Voges said. "He had a great senior year. He was a good leader and took that responsibility very well."
Signal Mountain junior Kylila Tucker fell 6-0, 6-0 to defending A/AA state champion Skylar McDonald of Fayetteville. Tucker said it definitely served as a learning experience.
"I learned I need to be more consistent. She started off really strong and I started slow," Tucker said. "I really wanted the score to be better, but I know I need to work hard in the offseason because we want to come back as a team next year."
Contact Gene Henley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6311. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/genehenleytfp.