Scots suffer first loss

By: By Amber Hatten-Staley - Sports editor
Amber Hatten-Staley | Laurinburg Exchange Fighting Scots senior Sam Poage meets with head coach Atondra Ellis before his tiebreaker set on Thursday against Pinecrest’s Will Blackwood. Poage fell to Blackwood 6-3, 7-6 (10-8).

LAURINBURG — The first meeting between the conferences top two teams — Scotland and Pinecrest — went to the Patriots.

The Scots didn’t go down without a fight, but the extremely windy conditions on Thursday caused problems with some of their shots leading to the Scots first conference loss of the season, 2-7.

Both teams entered the match undefeated in SAC-8 play sporting 4-0 records. The loss moves the Scots into a tie with Lumberton for second place at 4-1 while Pinecrest improves to 5-0.

The singles matches saw Scots junior Nate Dubbs take on Pinecrest senior Aidan Temple on court one. Dubbs lost in straight sets, 6-0, 6-0 as he struggled to respond to some of Temple’s harder hit shots.

The Scots first win came on court two as junior Hunter Edkins defeated Pinecrest senior Cody Stokes. The two were very evenly matched which led to a 7-6 first set requiring a tiebreaker. Edkins won the tiebreaker 7-4 before closing out the match with a 6-2 second-set victory.

Fighting Scots senior Nyjel Collins-Jackson fell to Pinecrest sophomore Will Bode in two sets, 6-3, 6-2. The wind caused problems with Collins-Jackson’s towering lob shots causing them to veer off course.

The Scots nearly tied the match as seniors Ryan Phillips and Sam Poage battled back on courts four and five. Phillips took on Pinecrest freshman Charlie Hodges while Poage faced off with Patriots’ freshman Will Blackwood.

Phillips struggled in the first set falling 6-3 as Hodges hit several cross-court shots before Phillips rebounded in the second set wearing Hodges down and closed in on his lead. Phillips found himself down 6-5 and nearly forced a tiebreaker third set but Hodges hit just a few more shots allowing him to pick up the 7-5 win.

After losing 6-3 in his first set, Poage fought back in the second set 7-6 to force a 10-point tiebreaker. Blackwood and Poage continued to battle back and forth with Blackwood hitting two more shots and stealing the tiebreaker 10-8.

The Scots also fell on court six as Nicholas Murphy fell in two sets against Pinecrest junior Lucas Clark, 6-3, 6-2.

In double’s action, the Scots picked up one win on court two with Collins-Jackson and Poage defeating Hodges and Blackwood, 8-6.

Dubbs and Edkins fell to Bode and Temple on the first doubles court, 8-2. It was a similar scene on court three as Phillips and Drew Monroe teamed up to take on Pinecrest’s Clark and Joshua Hooper falling 8-4.

With the loss the Scots move to 5-1 on the season and 4-1 in conference play. The Scots travel to Lumberton on March 19 at 4 p.m. to take on the Pirates, weather permitting. The Scots will then host Richmond on March 21 to close out the week.

Amber Hatten-Staley can be reached at 910-506-3170 or ahatten@laurinburgexchange.com.

Amber Hatten-Staley | Laurinburg Exchange Fighting Scots senior Sam Poage meets with head coach Atondra Ellis before his tiebreaker set on Thursday against Pinecrest’s Will Blackwood. Poage fell to Blackwood 6-3, 7-6 (10-8).
https://www.laurinburgexchange.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/web1_Sam.jpgAmber Hatten-Staley | Laurinburg Exchange Fighting Scots senior Sam Poage meets with head coach Atondra Ellis before his tiebreaker set on Thursday against Pinecrest’s Will Blackwood. Poage fell to Blackwood 6-3, 7-6 (10-8).
Fall to Pinecrest, 2-7

By Amber Hatten-Staley

Sports editor