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Central finishes third at ESD tennis tournament

Aberdeen Central's AJ Prehn reaches to hit a backhand during the ESD tennis tournament on Tuesday in Huron. Prehn finished fifth in singles and second in doubles. Photo by Mike Carroll, Huron Daily Plainsman

HURON – Aberdeen Central played its best tennis at the most opportune time on Tuesday at the Eastern South Dakota Conference tennis tournament.

The Golden Eagles won a variety of key matches on the way to a third place finish at the tourney. Yankton won the event with Mitchell second.

“Up and down our lineup, singles, doubles, everywhere, we just really played well,” said Central coach Trent Kurtz. “That was good to see.”

As expected the Eagles shined in the doubles portion of the event with a pair of runner-up finishes.

Gabe Goetz and Ian Ahlberg won a pair of key matches on the way to the finals. The duo defeated a Pierre squad that it had lost to earlier in the season, and then beat a Mitchell team it had split with.

Mitchell Hofer and AJ Prehn recorded a big win in the semifinals over Watertown in a match that featured deuce points on the final four games.

Kurtz said that his players came up big on many of those pressure points throughout the day.

“When you’re playing tournament tennis, there’s going to be a lot of close matches, so you just get a lot more of those deuce points,” Kurtz said, “and our guys did a great job playing them today.”

The Eagles showed mental toughness in many flights, notably at flight four singles where Prehn lost his first match and then won a long match in a tiebreaker. Within minutes he was back on the court and quickly fell behind 0-3. However, he found another gear and rolled to an 8-4 victory to capture fifth place.

Kurtz also pointed out the play of senior leader Gabe Goetz who finished third at top flight singles. Mitchell Hofer took fourth at flight four singles, and Sekou Gogue led the top seed at flight five singles before eventually falling 10-8.

The Eagles ended up scoring 160 points.

“We had a great day,” Kurtz said. “We outscored our projection by quite a bit.”

As a result, Central was able to accomplish one of its annual goals each season.

“Top three at ESD is always kind of the first goal we talk about,” Kurtz said. “Today we accomplished that and played really well to do it. That was fun.”

Central is scheduled to compete in a triangular in Watertown on Thursday along with Madison before heading to the State AA tournament in Rapid City next week.

Team Points: Yankton 335, Mitchell 319, Aberdeen Central 160, Brandon Valley 134, Watertown 111, Harrisburg 102, Pierre 95, Huron 15, Brookings 4.5.


First Flight

GABE GOETZ: def. Roger Puterbaugh, Huron, 10-1; lost Gage Becker, Yankton, 10-5; def. Alex Rallis, Harrisburg, 8-3. THIRD PLACE.

Second Flight

IAN AHLBERG: lost to Tyler Loecker, Mitchell, 10-4; lost to Ryan Schulte, Yankton, 8-2.

Third Flight

MITCHELL HOFER: def. Marcus Halling, Harrisburg, 10-4; lost to Zac Briggs, Yankton, 10-4; lost to Eli Woidyla, Brandon Valley, 8-6. FOURTH PLACE.

Fourth Flight

AJ PREHN: lost to Gibsen Eszlinger, Brandon Valley, 10-3; def. Justin Remmers, Watertown, 8-7 (7-5); def. Brayden Rausch, Harrisburg, 8-4. FIFTH PLACE.

Fifth Flight

SEKOU GOGUE: def. James Park, Brookings, 10-0; lost to Keaton List, Yankton, 10-8; def. Justin Ptak, Harrisburg, 8-5; lost to Henry Wright, Brandon Valley, 8-1.

Sixth Flight

JACK RIGGS: lost to Miles Krajewski, Yankton, 10-5; lost to Moo Gay, Huron, 8-3.


First Flight

GABE GOETZ-IAN AHLBERG: def. Matthew Hanson-Blake Judson, Pierre, 10-8; def. Macon Larson-Tyler Loecker, Mitchell, 10-7; lost to Gage Becker-Zac Briggs, Yankton, 10-4. SECOND PLACE.

Second Flight

MITCHELL HOFER-AJ PREHN: def. Dah Christ Moo-Lauy Kue Say, Huron, 10-3; def. Evan Meester-Justin Remmers, Watertown, 10-6; Aidan Patrick-Drake Jerke, Mitchell, 10-7. SECOND PLACE.

Third Flight

SEKOU GOGUE-MICHAEL FROHLING: lost to Jack Vermeulen-Connor Thelen, Mitchell, 10-4; def. Lah Doh Soe-Hser Nay Wah, Huron, 8-7 (7-5); lost to Justin Ptak-Koleton Anderson, Harrisburg, 8-4. SIXTH PLACE.

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