REPUBLIC — Neosho’s Connor Burghart and Matt Houk placed fifth in No. 1 doubles in the Republic Invitational on Friday.
Burghart-Houk finished 3-2 in the tournament en route to fifth and the duo highlighted Neosho’s ninth place finish overall among nine schools.
Burghart-Houk defeated Greenwood’s Grace-Cox 8-3 in the first round, defeated Smith-Cotton’s Andrew Matz-Colby Edgar 6-3 in a consolation match, and defeated Carthage’s Silas Smith-Colby Tandy 7-6 (7-5) in the fifth place match. Burghart-Houk lost 8-0 to Republic’s Isaac Jordan and Will Berry and then 6-3 to Webb City’s Peyton Mason and Trenton Hayes in the consolation semis, both teams their respective schools’ top doubles team.
Julian Henderson placed seventh in No. 1 singles, salvaging one victory from the tournament with a 6-1 win over Carthage’s Adam Theis. Henderson fell 8-3 to Carl Junction’s Colin King and 7-5 to Smith-Cotton’s Michael Cho.
No. 2 doubles Melvin Lopez and Brandt Gonzales placed eighth, losing all three matches, 8-0 to Carl Junction’s Mason Fox-Trent Smith, 6-3 to Webb City’s Marcor Crockett-Bridger Jackson, and 6-3 to Bolivar’s Mauck-Trout.
No. 2 singles Carter Abbott lost 8-5 to Forsyth’s Edwards and 6-2 to Smith-Cotton’s Ein Martin.
— On Thursday, Neosho lost 9-0 to Central Ozark Conference foe Nixa, losing all six singles and three doubles matches at the Neosho Tennis Courts.
In singles, No.1 Henderson fell 8-2 to Garrett Robertson, No. 2 Burghart 8-2 to Tanner Barnes, No. 3 Abbott 8-1 to Garrett Jarvis, No. 4 Dylan McNeill 8-3 to Isaac Forbis, No. 5 Landon Austin 8-1 to Roman Manasseri, and No. 6 Houk 8-1 to Alexander Thatcher.
No. 1 doubles Henderson-Austin lost 8-2 to Robertson-Jarvis, No. 2 Abbott-McNeill 8-3 to Barnes-Forbis, and No. 3 Burghart-Houk 8-0 to Manasseri-Jarvis.
Neosho dropped to 4-8 overall and 1-6 COC.
The Wildcats returned to action Monday on the road against Branson, making up a dual already rained out twice. Neosho then returns home Tuesday to face Joplin (13-3 overall this season). The Wildcats then have the conference tournament Wednesday and the Thomas Jefferson Invitational on Friday to close out their regular season.
Joplin and Republic are the powerhouse teams in Class 2, District 12, each with more victories than the other four schools in the district combined. Joplin and Republic are both double-digits in victories, Joplin 13 and Republic 11, while Neosho, Webb City, Carthage, and Willard enter the final week of regular season play with a combined 10 dual victories.
Brackets have yet to be released for district tennis.