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BOYS TENNIS: Red River breezes past first two rounds at state championship

FARGO -- So far, so good for Grand Forks Red River.

Grand Forks Red River cleared two more hurdles in another run at a state boys tennis championship Thursday as the Riders breezed through the first two rounds of the North Dakota State tournament.

Red River opened with a 5-0 win against Minot in the quarterfinals before downing Fargo South by the same score in the semifinals.

The Roughriders will be seeking their 16th straight championship today against West Fargo.

"We played very well," said Red River coach Greg LaDouceur said. "We had a couple of different lineups in different matches for various reasons.

"We got better in the second match. Hopefully, we can carry that through against West Fargo."

West Fargo beat Grand Forks Central 3-2 in the other semifinal to advance.

In the biggest surprise of the opening day, Central -- the No. 4 seed from the East Region -- upended Bismarck Century, the top seed from the West Region, 4-1 in the quarterfinals.

The Knights received wins from Kyle Folson and Ethan Comeau in singles along with the No. 1 doubles team of Andrew Thompson and Christian Wedin.

Red River, meanwhile, won its 188th and 189th consecutive duals by winning in the first two rounds.

Greg Wischer won twice at No. 1 singles while the Riders' No. 1 doubles team of Joey Anderson and Ryan Kenyon also rolled to easy wins.

Wischer, however, was pushed by Fargo South's Davis Lawley. The Red River junior, however, won 6-3, 7-5. "We had a little bit of a hiccup at No. 1 singles with Greg (against South)," said LaDouceur. "He had to battle but that's the sign of a solid player."

Red River's championship match will be held this morning. It will be played indoors because rain is expected to fall in Fargo.

After the completion of the team portion of the tournament, individual play will begin.

Red River also will be favored in the individual portion as well. Anderson downed Wischer for last year's state individual title.