With the state semifinals in Class 3A just one step and two days away, the pulse quickened on the Clinton Middle School courts on Monday when West Oak from Oconee County came down to play tennis at Clinton.
A quick pulse is great for short bursts. The Red Devils, seeking a return to the state finals, swept the Warriors out of the postseason with a 6-0 decision.
The electronic scoreboards measured a scarlet tide as the scores came rolling in. The singles matches at Nos. 1, 2 and 4, plus No. 2 doubles, ended quickly. Isaac MacMillan swept West Oak’s Sam Rholatter 6-0, 6-0. Ike Waldrop put a stop to Brady Peters 6-1, 6-0. Conner Donley swamped Logan Blackwell 6-0, 6-0. Alexander Windsor and Kyler Simmons teamed up to put down West Oak’s Joseph Ramey and Austin Hunter 6-1, 6-2.
No. 1 doubles required no play as Clinton (12-3) won all six matches over West Oak (8-5) contested before it.
The final blows to West Oak were dealt by Tyler Trevino, 7-6, 6-2 over Cade Prater at No. 3, and Anders Orr 6-3, 6-4 over Cooper Ratliff at No. 5.
The Upper State finals will be at Clinton on Wednesday, beginning at 5 p.m., against either Camden or Powdersville, who also played on Monday.
A year ago, the Red Devils reached the 3A state finals before falling to Hanahan, a school that has already been eliminated this year. The Lower State favorite is another Charleston school, Bishop England.
*Editors note: To view all photos, click on the arrows in the top right corner of the photo at the top of the story to scroll through the slideshow.