MARQUETTE - Noah Gannon's hard work at the Great Northern Conference boys tennis meet in Marquette on Thursday paid off in a couple of ways.
Not only did the Marquette Senior High School junior outlast Kingsford's Chris Roell 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3 for the No. 3 singles title, but the win lifted the Redmen into a second place tie with Menominee.
Kingsford rolled to its second straight GNC crown with 38 points. MSHS and Menominee posted 26 each, followed by West Iron County (18), Escanaba (10) and Gladstone (2).
Marquette’s Josh Downs returns a shot to Kingsford's Adam Szabo, not shown, during the No. 1 singles final of the Great Northern Conference boys tennis meet on Thursday at MSHS. Szabo won the match 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 and the Flivvers won the GNC title. The Redmen took second. (Journal photo by Matt Wellens)
"Noah just toughed it out," Marquette head coach Charlie Drury said. "He has been hampered by a back injury most of the season, but he's tough.
"He just outlasted Roell. Both were tired, but Noah just made fewer mistakes. His win gave us a tie for second."
It's the third time in as many meetings this season Gannon has beaten Roell.
Great Northern Conference Meet
Thursday at Marquette
Team scores: Kingsford, 38; 2. Marquette and Menominee, 26 apiece; 4. West Iron County, 18; 5. Escanaba, 10; 6. Gladstone 2
SINGLES - No. 1 - Adam Szabo (K) def. Josh Downs (MQT), 2-6, 6-2, 6-2; No. 2 - Brady Hicks (K) def. Matt Collins (MQT), 6-3, 6-0; No. 3 - Noah Gannon (MQT) def. Chris Roell (K), 6-7 (2-7), 7-6 (7-5), 6-3; No. 4 - Alek Shanks (K) def. Justin Flood (MQT), 6-3, 6-2.
DOUBLES - No. 1 - Joseph Gregory-Daniel Harrington (K) def. Ryan Woods-Caleb Kleiman (MEN), 6-3, 6-3; No. 2 - Joe Hofer-David McCole (K) def. Chad Schuelke-Nathan Gunderson (MEN), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3; No. 3 - Alex Wiitanen-Noah Voss (K) def. Aaron Maas-Adam Nolde (MEN), 6-2, 6-3; No. 4 - Colin Nerat-Nick Cattani (MEN) def David Fornetti-Kevin LeClaire, 6-1, 7-6 (7-5).
"My opponent put up a good match," Gannon said. "I didn't finish my opportunities (in the first set), but was able to capitalize in the last two sets."
He was down in the second set 4-1 before rallying for the win.
"I just focused more on where to place the ball," Gannon said. 'In the third set, I just wanted it more.
"I utilized my slice more and just had a better all-around game."
Kingsford placed competitors in all eight flights and won six of them.
Kingsford's Adam Szabo rallied for a 2-6, 6-2, 6-2 win over Marquette's Josh Downs at No. 1 singles. He's now 3-1 vs. Downs this season.
Kingsford also prevailed at No. 1 doubles, where Joseph Gregory and Daniel Harrington claimed a 6-3, 6-3 triumph over Menominee's Ryan Woods and Caleb Kleiman.
Marquette placed four players in singles, but none in doubles competition and only won one title on the day. Still, Drury was pleased.
"I'm extremely happy to get a (second-place) tie with Menominee," he said. "It was a very competitive tournament and we showed some improvement."
Matt Collins at No. 2 singles and Justin Flood at No. 4 also made the finals for Marquette.