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As the only player required to win three matches to become a 3-A Big East Conference champion, Fike High sophomore Cole Peterson was undeterred at the task before him Wednesday afternoon at Barton Tennis Complex.
Peterson opened the proceedings by punching his ticket to the North Carolina High School Athletic Association 3-A regionals with a win in the quarterfinals, then moved through the semifinals and championship — all in straight sets — to emerge with the title. He defeated Rocky Mount’s Brody Brice 6-4, 6-3 in the finals, bringing his overall singles record to 14-2 entering regional competition.
“Cole played extremely well today,” first-year Fike coach Chris Mizelle said. “He was the only player to have to play three matches today, and fought through that with a lot of focus. A great overall effort and a well-deserved ending to a great conference season.”
After beating Southern Nash’s Michael Hernandez in Tuesday’s first round by a 6-4, 6-2 margin, Peterson returned to the court Wednesday to dispatch Rocky Mount’s Tommy Wellenhofer 6-3, 6-1. A 6-3, 6-3 victory over Ben Henry of Franklinton followed in the semifinals.
The Golden Demons also qualified the senior doubles tandem of Max Fogleman and Marty Madar for regional play. Fogleman-Madar reached the finals by legging out a 5-7, 6-3, 6-4 win over Southern Nash’s Parker Strickland-Dylan Alligood in the semifinals. They lost in the championship round to Rocky Mount’s Sam Phillips-Landon Norwood by a 6-3, 6-0 margin. Fogleman--Madar opened play Tuesday with a 6-0, 6-4 conquest of Franklinton’s Dan Garcia-Josh Stone in the quarterfinals.
Fike’s John T. Conoley-Oc Bolt were ousted in the first round by Rocky Mount’s Phillips-Norwood, 6-1, 6-0.
For Southern Nash, the Firebirds qualified a pair of doubles teams for regionals after Strickland-Alligood reached the semifinals. They will be joined by juniors Hector Perez-Adolfo Gonzalez, who also reached the semifinals before bowing to Phillips-Norwood.
Hunt did not produce a regional qualifier, as all Warrior entrants were eliminated before the semifinals.