McALESTER — The McAlester Buffaloes and Lady Buffaloes had to watch other teams come to town and win their Freeze Out and Team Tournaments.
Given one more big home tournament, McAlester’s tennis squads stepped up and brought home the gold.
McAlester won four divisions and placed in the top four in the other four in their annual Burn Out Tournament, powering the Buffs and Lady Buffs to twin tournament championships Friday at the Bob Brumley Gymnasium and Chadick Park tennis courts.
“Our kids are realizing the opportunities in front of them,” McAlester tennis coach Chad Waller said. “So they’re putting in a little bit harder work at practice, taking practice a little more seriously and practicing with a purpose.”
Buffs one-singles player Chance Sistrunk had the best performance of any McAlester players, beating players from Grove, Poteau and Collinsville to win his division without giving up a set. Poteau’s Skylar Abbott gave Sistrunk the biggest fight, tying the second set 5-5 before Sistrunk won back-to-back wins to finish the semifinal.
Sistrunk beat Abbott 6-2, 7-5, then trounced Collinsville’s William Reynolds in the championships, 6-1, 6-3. He blanked Grove’s Ryan Caudill 6-0, 6-0 in the first round.
“He’s a good player, and every time we play he gets more games off of me, and today he came out real aggressive,” Sistrunk said of Abbott. Of Reynolds, he said, “I noticed that the Collinsville kid didn’t move well, so I was just trying to not really be aggressive, but keep him moving back, forth, corner to corner.”
Two-singles player Eric Borengasser received a bye in the first round, then blanked Collinsville’s Nick Stavros in the semifinals. But Claremore’s Nathan Kuykendall beat Borengasser 6-4 in the first set of the championship.
Borengasser recovered to beat Kuykendall 6-4 in the second set. He then won the super tiebreaker third set, 10-8.