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Saturday February 13th, 2016 6:50PM
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Tennis: North Hall boys cruise through the first round, ready for tougher test

By Morgan Lee Sports Editor
GAINESVILLE -- The North Hall boys tennis team knows that things are about to get a whole lot to tougher.

The Trojans say bring it on.

North Hall cruised past Sonoraville in the first round of the Class AAA playoffs on Wednesday, 3-0 -- North Hall continued playing after clinching the victory and won the other two matches as well -- setting the stage for a second-round showdown with Blessed Trinity.

"We'll make it close whoever we play at any level; we've played some great teams this season, and we're playing really well right now," Trojans coach Robert Woodworth.

Indeed, the No. 1 seed from Region 7-AAA, made it look effortless on Wednesday, taking the No. 1 doubles point and No. 1 and 2 singles points within an hour to move into the round of 16.

"We don't care who we play in the next round, as we long as we come out and play like we're capable," Woodworth said. "These guys have built a lot of confidence, and they've been a lot of fun to watch."

That certainly extended to the No. 1 doubles team, which continued its searing form from last week's region tournament to clinch the first point, as Matt Booth and Paxton Gillespie downed Sonoraville's Tate Moore and Dalton Wiles 6-0, 6-2.

"We know we have to get pumped up for state, and we did that today," said Gillespie, a sophomore -- Booth, a junior, is the oldest member of the starting line-up. "We've got a bright future as a team, and we're playing better together every match."

Booth's and Gillespie's play has helped set the stage for North Hall in several matches this season.

"They've won every match in special fashion, and they provide energy for the team," Woodworth said.

Jackson Davis kept that energy going with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over Brad Whitinghill at No. 2 singles, while Jeffrey Kiser wrapped up the match with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Tyler Bowers at No. 1 singles.

Dalton Patterson also won 6-0, 6-0 at No. 3 singles, while the No. 2 doubles team of Dawson Smith and Reid Lattanzi won 6-4, 6-0.

"This is awesome; we're a young team doing well, and we've got a lot more to come," Gillespie said.

North Hall, which has dropped just three matches this season -- to Buford, Flowery Branch and Calhoun -- hopes to knock off the Titans in a match time that is still to be determined (Woodworth noted that it will likely occur on either Monday or Tuesday).

"These guys have been playing with a chip on their shoulder ever since the loss to Buford in the regular season," Woodworth said. "And they're carrying that forward."
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