Of all the things Corey Harvey got for his 18th birthday last Friday, the one that was missing was an easy Division I district tournament draw for him and his partner, Nathan Blackstone, of the Hilliard Davidson High School boys tennis team.

Of all the things Corey Harvey got for his 18th birthday last Friday, the one that was missing was an easy Division I district tournament draw for him and his partner, Nathan Blackstone, of the Hilliard Davidson High School boys tennis team.

The result was that Harvey's bid to become the first Wildcat to make it to state three years in a row ended when he and Blackstone lost to New Albany's Skyler Engel and Riyad Bennoui 6-0, 6-1 in a quarterfinal at Davidson. The top four in singles and doubles advanced to state Friday and Saturday at Ohio State.

Harvey and graduate Lynn Roose had lost in the first round at state the last two years. Last Friday, he and Blackstone just ran into a better team. In fact, Engel and former partner Peter Kobelt won the Division II state title in doubles last year and Bennoui also was a state qualifier in doubles.

"One thing that has plagued us all year was having some unforced errors. You just can't do it against a team like that," Harvey said. "You have to play good doubles and not make any mistakes. It doesn't matter who you play in the second round of district, it's going to be a tough match. Everyone has a shot to make it."

"They always come into the net and hit low on you," Blackstone said. "You really don't have a chance to attack the ball. Most teams give you a chance to attack, but you're always on defense against these guys."

Junior Jeremy Mokry and sophomore Ben McClarren lost to Upper Arlington's Will Thieman and Billy Weldon 6-3, 6-1 in a quarterfinal last Friday, and junior Stephen Valentine lost to New Albany's John Buell 6-4, 4-6, 6-0 match in the first round.

"Jeremy and Ben could have changed that tide in the match at anytime. The frustrating part was watching that not happen," said coach Shawn Walton, whose team finished 12-5 overall and was second in the OCC-Buckeye Division at 4-1 with 45 points.

"We were just a couple of points away from turning the momentum.

"Stephen stepped up and played well againstone of the best players around. We sure would've liked to won that one but he played his best (last Friday)."

The Wildcats will lose seniors Harvey, Blackstone, Addison Witt and Eranga Fernando. Harvey and Blackstone played first doubles, Witt usually played second doubles and Fernando also played second doubles.

The Wildcats expect to return their singles lineup of Mokry (first), Valentine (second) and McClarren (third) as well as sophomore Trent Searfoss (second doubles) and junior Eric Nash (second doubles).

In the OCC-Buckeye, Davidson finished behind UA (5-0, 58) and ahead of Dublin Coffman (3-2, 38), Reynoldsburg (2-3, 21), Westerville North (1-4, 8) and Grove City (0-5, 5).

At the league tournament May 10, McClarren defeated UA's Jimmy Trotier 6-1, 6-3 to win the title at third singles, Valentine lost to UA's Sean Carr 6-2, 6-0 in the final at second singles, Harvey and Blackstone lost to UA's Phil Zunshine and James Melvin 6-1, 6-0 in the final at first doubles and Witt and Searfoss lost to UA's Stephen Edwards and Hunter West 6-4, 6-4 in the final at second doubles. Mokry finished third at first singles after defeating Reynoldsburg's Josh Rich 6-2, 6-3.

Next year, the Wildcats will be in an OCC division with UA, OCC-Cardinal champion Worthington Kilbourne, Hilliard Darby, Central Crossing, Coffman and Westland.

"I'm looking forward to getting this team on the right focus with the right attitude," Walton said.

"We're still trying to find our identity."

At a glance

•Record: 12-5 overall, 4-1 with 45 points (second) in OCC-Buckeye

•Seniors lost: Nathan Blackstone, Eranga Fernando, Corey Harvey and Addison Witt

•Key returnees: Ben McClarren, Jeremy Mokry, Eric Nash, Trent Searfoss and Stephen Valentine