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Johnson wins championship at Governor Invitational

Aberdeen Roncalli’s Palmer Johnson looks to return a volley during a doubles match against Aberdeen Central Thursday at the Holgate Middle School courts. Johnson won the championship at flight six singles during the Governor Invitational in Pierre on Friday. Photo by John Davis taken 5/6/2021

PIERRE – Aberdeen Roncalli’s Palmer Johnson won the championship at flight six singles during the Governor Invitational tennis tournament on Friday.

The freshman won all three of his matches by playing his familiar style of keeping the ball in play.

“He played exactly how we wanted to him play right off the bat. You could see pretty much everybody he played today was getting frustrated after a while, because he just doesn’t miss. He was frustrating his opponents like crazy,” said Roncalli assistant coach Isaiah Vilhauer. “There was a lot of times where he would be playing these long points and I think his opponents just wanted to get the point over with so they would go for broke.”

Mason Carrels and AJ Prehn both advanced to the semifinals before losing to opponents from Rapid City Christian. both players finished fourth.

“Mason and AJ both won their first round matches and then had some good battles in their semifinals,” said Roncalli coach JD Carrels. “They just came up short.”

The number two doubles team of Cason Hellwig and Jackson Henrich lost their first match, but bounced back to take fifth place.

“They were playing some of their best tennis together,” Coach Carrels said. “You could see they were definitely feeding off each other’s energy from this morning.”

Gray Imbery, who injured his shoulder on Thursday, tried to give it a go, but could not play. Gannon May stepped in at number one and won a match for the Cavaliers.

“I was very impressed with the way Gannon stepped up and handled playing in the number one position,” Coach Carrels said. “He played really well and got a win for us at one singles right away.”

The Cavaliers head to Milbank on Monday where they will face Milbank Area and Lennox.

Team points: Pierre 313, Lennox 290, Rapid City Christian 268, Sioux Falls Christian 98, Aberdeen Roncalli 95, Madison 90, Rapid City Central 85, St. Thomas More 0.


Flight One

GANNON MAY: Gray Imbery lost to Tyler Plank, Lennox, by injury default; def. Seth Fernau, Madison, 8-5; lost to Rhett Svarstad, Rapid City Central, 8-1. SIXTH PLACE.

Flight Two

CASON HELLWIG: lost to Blake Judson, Pierre, 5-3, 5-0; lost to Tyler Wardner, Madison, 8-0.

Flight Three

JACKSON HENRICH: lost to Andrew Daughery, Lennox, 5-3, 5-0; lost to Grant Santema, Sioux Falls Christian, 8-3.

Flight Four

MASON CARRELS: def. Brentan West, Lennox, 5-1, 5-0; lost to Noah Geyer, Rapid City Christian, 5-3, 4-6, (10-8); lost to Mason Kennington, Madison, 8-4. FOURTH PLACE.

Flight Five

AJ PREHN: def. Cole Jandreau, Rapid City Central, 5-1, 5-0; lost to Jack Hancock, Rapid City Christian, 5-1, 5-1; lost to Caleb Scott, Madison, 8-4. FOURTH PLACE.

Flight Six

PALMER JOHNSON: def. Shrouya Goyal, St. Thomas More, 5-0, 5-0; def. Elijah Simms, Madison, 5-3, 6-4; def. Gunnar Geiken, Lennox, 5-0, 5-3. FIRST PLACE.


Flight One

PALMER JOHSON-MASON CARRELS: lost to Sioux Falls Christian, 5-0, 5-2; lost to Madison, 8-4.

Flight Two

CASON HELLWIG-JACKSON HENRICH: lost to Lennox, 5-1, 5-2; def. Sioux Falls Christian, 8-4; def. Madison, 8-4. FIFTH PLACE.

Flight Three

AJ PREHN-GANNON MAY: def. Lennox, 5-3, 5-1; lost to Pierre, 5-3, 5-1; lost to Madison, 9-7. FOURTH PLACE.

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