Chillicothe High junior Corbin MEC boys’ tennis singles runnerup

As reported to C-T

ST. JOSEPH — Just as projected, Chillicothe (Mo.) HS junior tennis player Chace Corbin placed second behind Savannah freshman Cole Horton in the 2021 Midland Empire Conference’s Non-Team Tournament Friday (April 30).

The younger of two brothers who hold the top two spots in the CHS lineup, Ch. Corbin was seeded second to Horton, who had defeated him during their teams’ rain-postponed team dual April 14.

The rematch in Friday’s MEC finals saw virtually no variation in the Savage’s control of the match. An 8-1 winner in mid-April, Horton blanked Chillicothe’s top player 6-0, 6-0 in the first-place match at the Noyes Tennis Center in St. Joseph Friday afternoon.

Chace Corbin had not had an uneventful cruise in to the title match.

Recipient of a first-round bye, he was challenged hard by Maryville’s James Distefano in the quarterfinals before finally surviving the single-set match 8-5.

In the semifinals, where the format switched to best of three sets, the Hornet was in top form, crushing Horton’s Savannah teammate, Kaden Kennedy, love and love (6-0, 6-0).

While the Chillicothe 11th grader was having the Hornets’ greatest success in the tournament in which each MEC school was able to enter two players in singles and two doubles pairs with no team-scoring competition involved, he was not the only CHS entry to have successes.

Older brother Caleb and doubles partner and fellow senior Carter Allen ended up playing five single-set matches, “battling back from a championship-quarterfinals loss” before eventually dropping the fifth-place duel, Chillicothe coach Bob Long noted.

The CHS tandem began its day with an 8-0 whitewash of a St. Joseph: Bishop LeBlond entry before Evan Heftye and Connor Peek of this year’s MEC team champ Savannah whipped them by the same score.

On the consolation side of the bracket, the Allen/Ca. Corbin combo took down at Kansas City: St. Pius X pair 8-4 and then Spencer Pratt and Samuel Smith of Cameron 8-1 to get a crack at fifth place.

In one last tussle, the Hornets twosome fell to Savannah’s other entry in doubles, Andrew and Matt Collier, 2-8.

Long’s other selection for doubles play – Gabe Peterson and Shayden Hawkins – picked up one win in three tries.

Beaten 1-8 by a St. Joseph: Benton pair in the opening round, the Hornets figuratively dusted themselves off and dispatched a Bishop LeBlond duo in the first round of the consolation bracket. Peterson and Hawkins then were eliminated by Collier/Collier 0-8.

Back in singles, junior Emmett Young, who – like all of his teammates – was making his debut appearance in the tournament, dropped both of his matches.

He began with a 0-8 loss to a Maryville Spoofhound, then was defeated 3-8 by a Cameron foe in the start of consolation play.

Next for Chillicothe High’s tennis boys, who’ll begin postseason team play early next week, will be a return to the Noyes Center today for the annual tournament hosted by Benton.