The Clinton girls’ tennis team was pushed to the limit Friday afternoon by a stern Camden squad at the Clinton Middle School courts, but the Red Devils had more than enough to pick up a 4-3 victory in the SCHSL Class 3A playoffs, advancing to Monday’s semifinal round.
Clinton will visit Chapman in the semifinals, with the winner advancing to Saturday’s state final at the Cayce Tennis Center.
Clinton and Camden were forced to the No. 1 doubles match – the tie-breaking match – after Camden picked up a three-set victory at No. 3 singles. Clinton had opened the day with a 6-0, 6-4 victory from Mary Catherine Dailey over Wyatt, but Younghans put Camden briefly in front on the day when she won 6-4, 6-1 over Chandler Dailey at No. 2 singles.
In the doubles match Clinton shook off an early break of serve by winning four straight games to take a 4-1 lead. One of the prevailing themes in the match was the rough serving of Camden in the match, especially from Younghans. She had eight of Camden’s nine double faults in the first set and only held her serve once – rallying from down 15-40 and shaking off two break points in the process. But Younghans, frustration building with each double fault, still served up the free points to Clinton in the second set – double-faulting on break point in the fourth game of the set, then serving back-to-back double faults in the eighth game of the set to be broken again. The latter of the two breaks put Clinton up 5-3 and set up Chandler Dailey to close out the match on her own serve in the very next service game.
For the match Camden had 16 double faults and no aces, while Clinton had two aces – both in the first set – and two double faults. Clinton also converted 7 of 14 break chances.
Hampton 40, Presbyterian 17: The Blue Hose lost their 16th straight game dating back to last season, and fell to 0-9 this season, losing to the Pirates. It was the final road game of the season for the Blue Hose, who return home next Saturday when they face Gardner-Webb at Bailey Memorial Stadium.
Brandon Thompson, who entered the game at quarterback for starter Tyler Huff, rushed for a 1-yard touchdown with 6 minutes, 32 seconds to go in the third quarter, cutting what had been a 20-3 lead to 20-17. Thompson had thrown a 42-yard touchdown pass to Dohnte Meyers earlier in the quarter to account for PC’s only other touchdown in the game.
But after the Thompson rushing score, Hampton rallied with the game’s final 20 points. Austin Bradley threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Jadakis Bonds in the third quarter and ran for a 17-yard score midway through the fourth quarter before the Hampton special teams put the icing on the cake by blocking a punt and returning it 27 yards for the final touchdown.
PC was held to 257 yards of offense on 63 plays, including 46 yards rushing on 31 carries. Jaiden Turner led PC with 43 of those rushing yards. Wide receiver Keith Pearson had eight catches for 11 yards.