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BOYS TENNIS: Bemidji crowns subsection champs, advances 4 to section finals

The Lumberjacks crowned a pair of champions at the subsection tournament on Tuesday in Sartell, as Matthieu Benhamou won the singles title while John McNallan and Casey Rupp won the doubles title.

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Members of the Bemidji High School boys tennis team competed at the 8AA North Subsection Individual Tournament on Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Sartell. Pictured, from left, are Max Harris, Matthieu Benhamou, Noah Johnson, John McNallan, Casey Rupp and Jacob Fuhrman.
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SARTELL -- The kings of the 8AA North Subsection Individual Tournament reside inside the Bemidji High School boys tennis program.

The Lumberjacks crowned a pair of champions at the subsection tournament on Tuesday in Sartell, as Matthieu Benhamou won the singles title while John McNallan and Casey Rupp won the doubles title.

Additionally, Noah Johnson reached the singles championship -- where he lost to Benhamou -- and will see his career continue with the others at the Section 8AA Individual Tournament on Thursday, May 26, in St. Cloud.

Max Harris and Jacob Fuhrman closed out Bemidji’s representation, losing in the quarterfinals of the doubles tournament to wrap up their season.

Benhamou breezed through the singles field in straight sets. The North’s top seed, Benhamou defeated Sebastian Lau of Sartell-St. Stephen 6-1, 6-1 in the first round and then Reed Henderson of Detroit Lakes 6-1, 6-2 in the semifinals.

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Johnson, who was seeded third, also stormed through his half of the singles field -- ultimately lining up a collision course with Benhamou in the finals. Johnson won 6-2, 3-6, 6-1 against Sartell-St. Stephen’s Jack Michaud in the quarterfinals and then 6-1, 6-3 against the higher-seeded Nathan Cihak of DL in the semis.

In the championship match, Benhamou bested his teammate 6-2, 6-1 to earn first place in the subsection.

In doubles play, McNallan and Rupp also pulled down the North’s No. 1 seed. They won 6-0, 6-3 in the first round against Aidan Woods and Bailey Woods of Sartell-St. Stephen. McNallan and Rupp beat a pair of Alexandria opponents in the semifinals and finals, first defeating Ryan Meuwissen and Brennan Lattimer 6-1, 6-0 and then Pieter Mulder and Owen Gilbertson 6-2, 6-4 for the crown.

Harris and Fuhrman met the Meuwissen/Lattimer pairing in the quarterfinals, winning the first set but ultimately losing 3-6, 6-3, 6-1.

The top four from both the singles and doubles brackets now advance to the Section 8AA finals, where they’ll converge with their South Subsection counterparts and vie for state berths.

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