Pickerington High School Central seniors Chase Thomas and Dallas Stang improved in their second appearance in the Division I district boys tennis tournament.

Pickerington High School Central seniors Chase Thomas and Dallas Stang improved in their second appearance in the Division I district boys tennis tournament.

After losing their first-round match last season, Thomas and Stang posted a first-round win May 20 at Hilliard Davidson, but the season ended with a loss to Upper Arlington's Eric Vannatta and Nate Wallace in a quarterfinal.

"They fought hard, but a point here or there cost them a few games," coach Kelli Rings said. "They gave it their best and certainly there are no regrets. You're disappointed any time you lose, but they came out, played with confidence and got one win."

Thomas and Stang defeated Worthington Kilbourne's Roger Juang and Sam Lazaroff 6-1, 6-2 before falling to Vannatta and Wallace 6-3, 6-4.

Vannatta and Wallace, who had beaten Pickerington North's Sam Prewitt and Dylan Bhaerman 6-2, 6-1 in the first round, qualified for state by finishing second at district after losing to Dublin Jerome's Kent Seitz and Sean Stein 6-4, 7-5 in the final.

"Sam and Dylan didn't bring their 'A' game," North coach Brian Hoff said. "The UA kids were the second-best doubles team there and they stepped up and played well, obviously, since they finished second. We would've had to play our absolute best to win, and even then I'm not sure it would've been enough. They just didn't give us any openings or chances."

The doubles-team losses at district signaled the end of the season for the Tigers and Panthers.

Central will lose senior Jacob DeVore from its lineup in addition to Thomas and Stang, who were seeded first in the home sectional and won the title May 14.

The other doubles team of DeVore and sophomore Lucas Stang won their first-round match at sectional before losing to Mitchell Lothes and Alexander Hathaway of Olentangy Liberty 6-1, 6-3.

Central went 0-3 in singles at sectional, with juniors Sanjeev Kolli, Mayuran Ravindran and Darree Billings all losing their first matches.

The Tigers finished 14-5 overall and 5-2 in the OCC-Ohio Division. In the final league standings, the Tigers totaled 50 points to finish third, behind Gahanna (68) and North (55) and ahead of Reynoldsburg (34), Grove City (26), Groveport (16), Newark (11) and Lancaster (9).

Kolli won Central's lone league title at No. 3 singles. The Tigers were runners-up on every other court with Thomas at first singles, Dallas Stang at second singles, DeVore and Lucas Stang at first doubles and Ravindran and Billings at second doubles.

"We won a lot of good matches and the boys played hard," Rings said. "We entered the season with so many new faces and just three returnees. Losing our top two singles players, with Chase being a four-year varsity player and Dallas a three-year varsity player, is a big punch. But I think if the boys work hard, we'll have another good season next year.

"Sanjeev really turned things around from what he was early in the season. By the end of the year, he was a whole new package. I think all of the returnees have that in them."

•Prewitt and Bhaerman were seeded fourth and finished third in the sectional at Hilliard Darby to lead North.

They lost their semifinal to New Albany's John Hendrix and Oliver Sybert 6-2, 6-3 but rebounded to beat New Albany's Jordan Rabe and Ameen Farwana 6-3, 6-4 in the third-place match to earn their second trip to district.

North's other doubles team of Alex Bartsch and Ben Keen won its first two sectional matches before losing a district-qualifying match. In singles, Andrew Brady, Patrick Yen and Mitchell McGuire all won their first matches but lost in the second round.

Bhaerman, a junior, will have to find a new partner if he competes in doubles in the postseason next year, as Prewitt is a senior. Bartsch also is a senior.

"We've got our top player, Dylan Bhaerman, returning along with four others who all have played singles and doubles," Hoff said. "I think we should be a strong team, if we can get those guys to put in some work in the offseason. They've got to be committed to the game."

The Panthers finished 6-7 overall and 6-1 in the league to finish second behind Gahanna.

North won league doubles titles with Prewitt and Bhaerman (No. 1) and Bartsch and Keen (No. 2), but did not reach the finals on the three singles courts.

"It was a frustrating season in part because the weather kept you from playing consistently, sometimes going four to six days without seeing the guys," Hoff said. "The other problem was we couldn't finish close matches. Five of our seven losses were by 3-2 scores. We couldn't win close ones, and it wasn't always the same court we finished short.

"All of them had a chance to pull out the decisive win on their courts and we came up short for whatever reason. We feel that we were a better team than what our record indicates."