The McDowell Titans tennis team won half the singles matches but dropped a 5-4 heart-breaker to the Freedom Patriots in the regular-season tennis finale Wednesday in Morganton.
The Patriots won two of the three doubles matches after each club won three apiece in singles play.
Chris Boyette, the top seed for the Titans (1-12-1 overall, 1-6 Northwestern 3A/4A Conference), fell 6-0, 7-5 to Neftali Martinez. At No. 2, McDowell’s Isaac Smith edged Alex Brant 7-5, 6-4.
The Titans’ Walter Catala lost 6-2, 6-3 to Adam Xiong at the third seed. At No. 4, McDowell’s Isaac Lawing defeated Carlos Morris 6-2, 6-2.
McDowell fifth seed John Ramirez clipped Thomas Gigon 4-6, 6-6 (7-5), 10-7 in a hard-fought tiebreaker. At No. 6, Kaleb Burke fell 6-0, 6-2 to Freedom’s (3-5, 2-5) Major Hightower.
In doubles play, Catala and Lawing teamed up to defeated Brant and Gigon 10-4. But Martinez and Xiong slid past Smith and Boyette 10-8; and Morris and Hightower defeated Burke and Ramirez 10-2.
McDowell will host unbeaten South Caldwell next (TBA) as the split conference’s two 4A seeds will battle for the tournament title.