MASON — The season, and high school careers, for Wilmington’s Caleb Reed and Avery Bradshaw ended Thursday at the Division I Southwest District Tennis Championship at the Lindner Family Tennis Center.
The Wilmington duo was defeated by Drew Evans and Tucker Berry of Cincinnati St. Xavier 1-6, 0-6 in an opening round match on Center Court.
“It was a great day,” WHS head coach Steve Reed said. “It was a wonderful experience. We’re so fortunate to not only have the best facility in the midwest, but also Scott (Long) and Matt (Sexton) do an awesome job (as tournament directors). So well organized. They do a good job of making it feel like it’s a big deal.”
Reed and Bradshaw were fourth in the Centerville Sectional tournament while the Bombers pair won the Cincinnati Sectional.
“The goal was to get to districts,” Reed said. “When we got here, it was kind of like uncharted territory.”
From the start Thursday, though, it was clear the St. Xavier combo was very strong.
St. Xavier went up 3-0 before Reed held serve to make it 1-3. The next game was tied at 30-all. A service break could have been huge for Bradshaw and Reed.
“That was a big moment in the match,” Reed said. “I told them they needed to take risks, seize opportunities. This would have been one.”
But Evans and Berry held serve and went on to win the first set 1-6.
Reed served to start the second set and the Hurricane pair actually led 30-15 before losing the next three points.
Down 0-4 with Reed serving, Wilmington led 30-0 before St. Xavier battled back and forced deuce then won to put WHS on the brink of elimination.
“Their serves were so overpowering,” said Reed. “When we got deep in to a point, it was 50-50. For points that went past a serve and a return, it felt like it was an even match.”