Lucas Horve lived up to his seeding with ease on Thursday, handling his first three matches of the state tennis tournament.
The Maroa-Forsyth sophomore was ranked ninth in the tournament, and won all three in straight sets.
He only dropped one game to Glenbard North's Sean Boland, and four each to Aurora Christian's Dawson Poling and Plainfield Central's DJ Colantone.
Today's run begins with the toughest test yet in fifth-seeded Scott Bickel of Winnetka New Trier. New Trier is currently the top team with 24 points. With inclement weather forecast for tomorrow, that match will start at 8 a.m.
Bickel, a senior, has dropped four total games through three matches.
Last year, Horve won his first three matches with LSA's Colin Sandgren in doubles.
Horve's the only area singles player left at state after Thursday.
Teutopolis' Andy Mersman was the only other singles player to win a match, as he beat Oak Forest's Yash Patel 6-2, 6-1.
The Effingham duo of Jared Minor and Drake Hill is alive and well in the consolation bracket after being pushing to a tiebreaker against a Rockton Hononegah duo. Minor and Hill won 4-6, 6-3, 10-6, before breezing through their next match 6-1, 6-3. They play LaGrange Lyons' Tanner Burke and Pat Caruso today.
Mount Zion's Nick Laramee had a tough day, dropping his two matches in straight sets. The Braves' doubles team found more success, winning their first match in the championship and consolation brackets. The dropped a marathon match, 7-5, 7-5, to Wilmette Loyola Academy's Patrick Halpin and Andrew Sullivan.
Teutopolis' doubles team made a splash before exiting. Noah Pals and Alex Probst won a championship and a consolation match, and Trevor Lee and Jacob Mette won their opening match.
North Clay 9, Oblong 5
LOUISVILLE -- Louisville North Clay is on the brink of the first sectional baseball title in school history after the Cardinals roared back to beat Oblong.
After the offense was shut out for four innings, North Clay scored three runs in the fifth to tie the game. Oblong would score a run in the sixth, but North Clay responded again, this time with six runs.
Collin Warren picked up the win, pitching the last two innings and striking out three batters.
Jerick VanDyke, Brandon Repking, and Reese Blank each had a pair of hits for the Cardinals.
North Clay will face Edwards County on Saturday for the sectional title.
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