BOYS TENNIS: Hokanson and Holter defend title, earn top seed for Sections
BAXTER -- Bemidji's defending North Subsection 8-2A champions duo of Matt Hokanson and Noah Holter defended its title by overcoming a first-set loss and defeating Brainerd's duo of DJ Kraemer and Tanner Lundberg for the title in Thursday's Subsection final.
With the win, Hokanson and Holter have secured the top seed in next Wednesday's Section 8-2A tournament in St. Cloud.
The duo had a first round bye and won the final match, 5-7, 7-6, (7-5), 6-1.
"Matt and Noah were the top seed in doubles so they had a bye in the first round," Bemidji head coach Mark Fodness said. "The match with Brainerd was really fun to watch. Brainerd carried the first set and then we came up with a huge win in a tiebreaker for the second set.
"Winning the tiebreaker really seemed to give us a boost and we took the level of our play up a notch," he added.
Kraemer and Lundberg were playing their fourth match of the tournament after opening with victories over Moorhead, Sartell and Alexandria.
"We got to the net a lot more in the first set," Kraemer said. "The second set they obviously controlled the net and we went away from our game plan.
"That was our fourth match of the day and the longest. We kind of lost the mental focus there at the end."
Brainerd head coach Bruce Thompson said his duo progressed throughout the day, but showed signs of fatigue in the final match.
"When you put guys together they have some rough spots and do not play quite as well initially," Thompson said. "As the day progressed, they played better and better.
"In that final match, it just appeared they ran out of gas," Thompson said. "They were tired. Four matches in a day, like today with with a little bit of heat and a lot of sun, is a lot. They did a heck of job against a good team."
Fodness also praised his doubles teams that advanced for being able to play multiple matches after a spring that did not allow for many long days of tennis.
"Due to our spring weather, most players have not played this much tennis in a day," Fodness said. "But our guys really stayed focused and were physically ready to play."
Sam Howard and Kole Pankow also stood out in doubles action for Bemidji, as the duo defeated teams from Moorhead and Brainerd before falling to Hokanson and Holter in the semifinals.
"They were the fourth-seeded team and played well throughout the day," Fodness said. "They took control against Moorhead and never really let up. It took a couple of games to get rolling against Brainerd in the second round, but then settled into some good tennis again."
Howard and Pankow finished their day by dropping a third-place match in three sets to Levi Duwenhogger and Brendan Holm of Alexandria.
"In the third place match, they lost to the second-seeded team from Alexandria, but were competitive in almost every game, " Fodness said. "I think if we would have carried the first set we would have kept the momentum going."
In singles, Gabe Heifort and Robert Treuer each lost their match in two sets.
"Gabe had a very competitive match, and Robert played well overall, but both were hurt by the fact that they did not play a lot of singles for us this year," Fodness said. "It is a big adjustment to make at tournament time, but both guys put a good effort on the court."
2014 North Sub-Section 8AA boys tennis tournament
Hanks (DL) def. Heifort (BHS) 4-6, 6-3, 6-2
Fondrick (DL) def. Truer (BHS) 6-1, 6-0
Crowe (Alex) def. McCall (AP) 6-0, 6-0
K.Meyer (Mhd) def. Ullman (SR) 6-0, 6-0
P.Meyer (Brain) def. Muntifering (Sar)
Kallevig (Alex) def. Kleist (Brain) 6-4, 6-4
Schuchard (Sar) def. Lillis (AP) 6-0, 6-1
Steinwald (Mhd) def. Hanks (DL) 6-0, 6-0
Fondrick (DL) def. Crowe (Alex) 0-6, 6-3, 6-2
Meyer (Mhd) def. Meyer (Brain) 6-2, 6-0
Schuchard (Sar) def. Kallevig (Alex) 6-2, 6-0
Steinwald (Mhd) def. Fondrick (DL) def. 6-0, 6-2
Meyer (Mhd) def. Schuchard (Sar) 1-6, 6-1, 6-1
Fondrick (DL) def. Schuchard (Sar) injury
Steinwald (Mhd) def. Meyer (Mhd) 7-5, 6-2
Partington/Grandgenett (Alex) def. Crawford/Bremseth (DL) 6-3, 6-0
Bialka/Anderhorn (Brain) def. Forberg/Erickson (Sar) 7-5, 6-1
Howard/Pankow (Bem) def. Cela/Schroeder (Mhd) 6-3, 6-3
Kraemer/Lundberg (Brain) def. Meyer/Glidden (Mhd) 6-3, 4-6, 6-3
Skoe/Fischer (Sar) def. Solven-Kolle/Ewing (AP) 6-0, 6-0
Howard/Nelson (DL) def. Battig/Ano (AP) 6-4, 6-3
Hokanson/Holter (Bem) def. Crawford/Bremseth (DL) 6-0, 6-2
Howard/Pankow (Bem) def. Bialka/Anderhorn (Brain) 6-3, 6-1
Kraemer/Lundberg (Brain) def. Skoe/Fischer (Sar) 6-1, 6-1
Holm/Duwenhoegger (Alex) def. Howard/Nelson (DL) 7-6, 6-0
Hokanson/Holter (Bem) def. Howard/Pankow (Bem) 6-0, 7-5
Kraemer/Lundberg (Brain) def. Holm/Duwenhoegger (Alex) 6-2, 6-1
Holm/Duwenhoegger (Alex) def. Howard/Pankow (Bem)
Hokanson/Holter (Bem) def. Kraemer/Lundberg (Brain) 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1