By Justin Sokeland
BEDFORD – Jayden Kemp definitely cannot hide on the tennis court. For one, he’s usually the tallest guy out there. For another, that red hair is like a lighthouse beacon, visible at a great distance. And he’s planted in the middle of the complex at No.1 singles.
His game attracted the attention on Tuesday as Bedford North Lawrence’s senior soloist came back to life with an impressive victory. That effort got overshadowed by Scottsburg’s 4-1 team triumph, but BNL coach Chris Kurtz took comfort in the fact his big man was back on track.
Kemp, after battling an illness and struggling the previous match, returned to his usual form with a 6-1, 6-2 win over Jonah Copple. His thinking-man ability to move his opponent and exploit cracks in the armor paid off.
“He was hot, that looked like the Jayden I’ve come to expect,” Kurtz said. “He came out on a mission and played great.
“He’s really good about picking a spot on the court, he knows what he wants to do with the ball. He’s very good at identifying an opponent’s weaknesses. He’s able to set up shots very nicely. He goes out there with a good idea.”
The Warriors worked their way past the Stars on the other courts. Jace Luttrell battled past Orion Hill 6-3, 3-6, 10-5 (in a deciding tiebreaker) at No.2 singles, while Jarin Luttrell recorded a late service break in the first set en route to a 7-5, 6-1 win over Isaac Bridges at No.3.
In doubles, Scottsburg took control as Mayson Cutter and Noah Bagwell wasted little time topping Drew Stephenson and Neal Patel 6-0, 6-2 at No.1. Sammy Craig and Justin Craig combined for a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Gavin Baker and Jackson Corey at No.2.
“Over the last week or so, I’ve seen a lot of improvement from our guys, especially in the big points and pressure situations,” Kurtz said. “That’s going to be big moving into tournament time next week when we’re likely to see a few teams for a second time.”
The Stars (5-10) will return to Brown County to complete a weather-suspended match on Wednesday.
Scottsburg 4, BNL 1
1 Jayden Kemp, BNL d. Jonah Copple 6-1, 6-2
2 Jace Luttrell, Sc d. Orion Hill 6-3, 3-6, 10-5
3 Jarin Luttrell, Sc d. Isaac Bridges 7-5, 6-1
1 Mayson Cutter and Noah Bagwell, Sc d, Drew Stephenson and Neal Patel 6-0, 6-2
2 Sammy Craig and Justin Craig, Sc d. Gavin Baker and Jackson Corey 6-2, 6-3