POPLAR BLUFF - The Sikeston Bulldogs tennis team won first place in the Poplar Bluff Invitational on Saturday.
Sikeston captured a total of 16 points, while Poplar Bluff and Cape Central tied for second place with 15.5 points apiece. Farmington was next with 11.5 and Dexter finished in last place with zero points.
In Bulldog singles action, Justin Deere defeated Andrew Maurer of Farmington 8-4, but lost to Malay Bhatt of Poplar Bluff, 8-0 in the semifinals. Stuart Strom defeated Davis Wilson of Poplar Bluff, 8-4 in the first round and lost to Justin Arnold of Farmington in quarterfinals, 8-3
Sikeston's Sam Zhao and Clayton Matthews won the doubles championship defeating Cape Central's Brandon Gonzales and Will LaFoe, 8-4 in the first round. Poplar Bluff's Kelsey Brown and Chris Drury were defeated 8-2 in the semifinals.
Zhao and Matthews defeated Farmington's Colton Reynolds and Eric Fuemmeler, 8-4 to capture the title. Sikeston's Charlie Jones and Logan Hampton lost to Robert Weir and Alex Kies of Cape Central, 8-5 in 2nd round.
"I'm very pleased to win this tournament," said Sikeston head coach Brian James. "With Cape and Farmington, they are really quality teams to compete against. Both our doubles teams and both our singles entries did a good job. I saw some very good things. This tournament is very similar to the format of a district tournament, so it gave the boys a realistic look to what to expect in about three weeks. I really saw some good things today. Every one of them are playing better.
"Sam and Clay pretty much cruised through the bracket. They've had some inconsistent moments this year, but they've kind of been able to pick it up when they've needed to. Today, they were solid from start to finish."
Sikeston host Carbondale today at 4 p.m.