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News Story
Updated: 02/16/2017 08:30:04AM

Pickleball league keeps going strong

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NEIL SIMPSON PHOTO

Tanglewood's Tom Stadler prepares to smash the ball as Walt Snyder watches.

NEIL SIMPSON PHOTO

Bill Alexejun, left, and Bob Cisler of Highlands Ridge playing against Lake Ashton.

NEIL SIMPSON PHOTO

Sun 'n Lake's Leo Girouard.

By NEIL SIMPSON

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Last Thursday, the Lake Ashton Lakers visited Tanglewood in South Central Pickleball League action and the home team won 10 of the 16 matches for a final score of 43-24. Tanglewood’s pairs of Mike March and Grant McLaughlin plus Clint Hunter and Aart DeVos each took three of their matches. Tom Stadler and Jim Maynard partnered for two wins as did Gary Sewell and Randy Crawfis. Dan Pilliterri and Ron Bowman paired up for a win.

Lake Ashton’s top player, Les Jacobson, partnered with Tim Noffsinger and Alex Vogt to win all four of his matches. Ralph Rickard and Don Woodbury, the only other Lakers’ pair to crack the Tanglewood juggernaut, took two matches. Great weather and good sportsmanship was enjoyed by all in a day of close games and remarkable comebacks by both teams.

When Highlands Ridge hosted the LA Lakers on Friday, the Highlanders got off to a slow start and, with only four matches remaining, trailed the visitors. These matches were critical as the final four matches in league play pit teams of equal ability against one another and account for the greatest number of points. The Highlanders took three of these matches and finished the day with a winning margin of 38 to 29.

For the second week in a row, the Highlands Ridge top team of Chris Donaghy and Dave Shaner won all four of their match-ups. The Highlanders’ Doug Ebeling and Gary Schinderle paired up to split their matches as did Bob Cisler and Bill Alexejun. Team captain Mickey Dorman praised Candy Gilles and Donna Landers for stepping in at the last minute to fill out the roster.

Also on Friday, Del Webb was playing at Tanglewood, where the Tigers team continued its winning ways with a 58-9 win over the Webbers. The Tigers’ A team of Mike March and Grant McLaughlin won all four of their matches as did the B team, Clint Hunter and Aart DeVos. Gary Sewell and Randy Crawfis, the C team, took three of their four matches playing some very tight games. D team duties were shared by two pairings. Jim Maynard and Ron Bowman lost their first game of the second round but roared back with two strong wins ending up winning two matches. Tom Stadler and Walt Snyder were winless on the day.

Outstanding play and great sportsmanship were in abundance when the Frostproof Gators competed at Sun ‘n Lake on Saturday. Sun ‘n Lake subs Leo Girouard and Paul Marcellus won their match in the first round. In second-round play, the Suns took three of the four matches. Third round action saw the Suns’ Dave Kontowsky and John Prentice win their match as did Ross Myles and Bob Kollmeyer. In the final round, which pits the most evenly matched teams against one another, the Suns took three of the four matches thanks to the fine play of Jim Jones and Joseph Oblon, Sam Machotka and Sheldon Hamilton and another win by Kontowsky and Prentice.

The Gators were led by the excellent play of Jerry Hendricks and Peter Hurley, who earned 10 of the teams’ 19 points. J.P. Lefebvre and Richard Lewis combined for seven of the Gators’ points.

Following play, the Gators, new to the league this year and the Suns, who have returned after missing a year, took time to share refreshments and individual game strategies.

Standings after two weeks of play:

1. Tanglewood – 105 points

2. Highlands Ridge – 78 points

3. Lake Ashton - 74points

4. Sun n Lake – 70 points

5. Frostproof – 39 points

6. Del Webb – 36 points

Note that the wide spread in points earned is not necessarily indicative of how closely contested the games were due to the league’s complicated scoring system.

Next week’s games: Frostproof at Lake Ashton at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday. On Saturday Tanglewood visits Highlands Ridge at 9:00 and Sun n Lake travels to Del Webb for a 10:00 start. Spectators are always welcome.


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