FL also nabs win in SEC opener
Strong showings from the top part of the lineup helped Forest Lake place third at the eight-team Herzog Invitational in Stillwater on Saturday.
Senior Dusty Boyer and ninth-grader Toby Boyer earned the team’s best finishes by winning the top two singles flights. Dusty lost just three games over three matches and beat Apple Valley’s Sam Hoyt 6-0, 6-0 in the finals. Toby lost only five games and beat Stillwater’s Sam Stiff 6-1, 6-2 in the finals.
Senior Zack Decker was tripped up in the semifinals of the third singles flight, losing 6-7, 4-6 to Apple Valley’s Dan Scislow. Decker went on to beat Mitch Johnson of Stillwater in straight sets to take third place.
After losing the opening match to the eventual champions from St. Paul Harding, Forest Lake’s top doubles team bounced back to win two matches and place fifth. Senior Zak Buckley and junior Austin Riedeman rolled Hill-Murray’s top duo 6-1, 6-0 in the fifth-place match.
The rest of the lineup was pieced together, as two Rangers were out with injuries and a third was taking the ACT. Eighth-grader Hunter Shortly and sophomore Sam Hamilton beat a Stillwater team in the opening match at No. 2 doubles and placed fourth. In the third doubles flight, junior Eben Matti and eighth-grader Sam Bostrom also won their first match before falling twice to place fourth. Eighth-grader Ben Bowes went 0-3 in the fourth singles flight.
The event was rained out last spring, so Forest Lake was technically the defending champion by virtue of its 2010 win. St. Paul Harding totaled 29 points on Saturday, beating Apple Valley by five. The Rangers scored 21 points.
“It might have been different with everybody playing,” said coach Greg Patchin. “It will be nice to have a full team as Nate [Riedeman], Ryan [Renard], and Austin [Morris] should be aboard for this coming week.”
Forest Lake 4,
The Rangers opened Suburban East Conference play with a tight home win over Stillwater last Thursday. The 4-3 final came via three wins in singles and one in doubles. The Boyers and Decker all won handily. Renard and Shortly prevailed 6-3, 6-4 at No. 2 doubles, meaning all four wins came from the same positions they did the prior week in Forest Lake’s 4-3, season-opening win at Centennial.
“Stillwater always has decent players and is well coached,” Patchin said. “Dusty, Toby and Zack all did a good job of front-running their overmatched opponents and then had to wait around for someone to get the fourth [point]. Ryan Renard and Hunter Shortly seem to be able to win close sets and got the needed ‘W’.”
Patchin added that he feels fortunate that the team is 2-0 because he is asking a lot by playing three eighth-graders in the varsity lineup.
Forest Lake played at Woodbury on Tuesday and hosts White Bear Lake this Thursday. The Rangers play in a tournament in Maple Grove on Saturday.