Winston Academy Patriot Players Austin Baskin, Tanner Moore, Mary- Katherine Black, Cole Duty, Tyler Foster, and Sam Dempsey all advance to the Class AA Tennis State Championships on May 9 in Jackson. Austin Baskin and Tanner Moore, boys #1 doubles, captured the district title, then went on to North State on May 1 in Grenada to battle through 3 heated matches to capture the North State title. Baskin’s serve and forehand along with Moore’s net game and forehand proved to be too much for the other teams, including the undefeated home team of KirK Academy. Touted as the match to watch, the home team and host crowd was ever present, but they were equally matched by the Patriot supporters. By no means was this your classic quiet tennis match. Baskin and Moore battle to win the first set 6-2 with several deuce games. Of course, the second set came down to a crowd- screaming tie breaker. At 5 all, it’s Baskin’s turn to serve. He hits a big first serve to score. With one more serve to win the match, Baskin faults. He decides to go for it on his second serve and hits a hard kick serve wide and high to his opponent’s back hand who couldn’t handle it. Match over. Patriots win. They advance to the finals to meet their familiar nemesis from Oak Hill. With both teams having a win off the other, this was the tie breaker and to see who would be champ. When the dust cleared, Baskin and Moore soundly defeated them 6-0, 6-3 to win the title. Sam Dempsey and Tyler Foster, boys #2 doubles, played well and won their first 2 matches. They made it to the finals to meet Manchester’s boys who proved to be too much for the Patriots. This was the best we had seen Manchester play all year, and they deserved the win. Now the Patriot Players know what to train for as they earned their trip to state as runner-ups at North State. Mary-Katherine Black and Cole Duty, mixed doubles, came ready and proved it in their first two matches in which they dominated their opponents for solid wins. They too advanced to the finals where they met the team they had actually trained for, Oak Hill. Not being able to achieve a win off them during the regular season was a motivator, and they entered the match with high expectations. However, as the match started, the Patriot Players couldn’t get their rhythm, and Oak Hill played astoundingly well. Black and Duty ended up achieving runner-up at North State which gives them a ride to State for a chance at the big title. At the end of the tournament, All three Winston Academy teams had advanced to the finals with Baskin and Tanner bringing home a North State Championship. With all the wins they accumulated, the boys team won 2nd place North State Overall! Now they will battle it out with the winners from the South at the State Championships May 9 at Ridgeland Tennis Center.