JOHNS CREEK — It was a double dose of disappointment for the Lambert tennis program Friday, as both the girls and boys lost in the Region 7-AAAA tournament finals to Johns Creek.
The girls lost to the Gladiators 3-2 on the Johns Creek campus, while the Longhorn boys fell 3-0 at the Medlock Bridge Community Tennis Center. Both teams now await the results of the Region 8-AAAA tournament. As the No. 2 seeds from Region 7-AAAA, they will host the No. 3 seeds from Region 8-AAAA.
The Longhorn girls were tied 2-2 with Johns Creek after four matches, as No. 1 singles player Karlee Bryde and the No. 2 doubles team of senior Sydney Topper and junior Morgan Adams posted wins. But in the deciding No. 1 doubles match, seniors Taylor Lofton and Kaelee Heffner lost in a tie breaker, 8-6.
“It doesn’t get any closer than that. Just one tiny point either way,” said Lambert head coach Ashley Laury. It was the third time this season that the Longhorns have been defeated by Johns Creek. Still, Laury and community coach Bruce Bryde believe their team has what it takes to beat the Gladiators, who they could face in the state finals.
“Losing like this is the best motivation in the world,” said Bryde, Karlee’s father.
Longhorn boys head coach Eric Hampton feels the same way about his squad, which lost a 3-2 decision to the Gladiators back in March. Lambert entered the Region 7-AAAA tournament as the third seed, but avenged a 3-2 regular season loss to second seeded Chattahoochee by downing the Cougars 3-1 in Thursday’s semifinals.
Though the final score of the finals loss to Johns Creek will read 3-0, Lambert’s No. 2 singles player Jake Bouchillon and the No. 2 doubles team of Andrew Hemings and Chase Watton, were winning their games when the match was called after No. 3 singles player Lincoln Metz loss.
“It could have just as easily been 3-2,” Hampton said. “It just wasn’t our day, but we did have some positives to draw on.”
Hampton said he is looking forward to a third crack at the Gladiators.
“I really do hope we face Johns Creek again, because that will be in the state finals,” he said. “I know we’re going to play Johns Creek again, because we’re going to the finals.”