Braves switch up lineup in 4-1 win over Stars


Bryce Reaser and Lane Steward played new positions for the Brownstown Central tennis team Thursday afternoon, but the changes didn’t slow them down at all.

Reaser moved from No. 1 doubles to No. 3 singles and defeated Isaac Bridges 6-3, 6-2.

Steward teamed up with Connor Gwin at No. 1 doubles and they topped Jayden Kemp and Drew Stephens 6-2, 6-3.

Braves Smith Hackman and Pierson Wheeler won their matches at one and two singles to help the Braves shoot down the Stars 4-1 and even their record at 5-5.

Braves coach Donnie Thomas said he liked the effort his team put forth.

“We changed it up with Lane and Bryce a little bit. I told Bryce playing three singles taught him to be a little more patient because Isaac Bridges just gets the ball back, and I wanted him to take a little of that back if he goes back and plays with Connor,” he said. “Lane is pretty steady. He maybe doesn’t hit the ball as hard as Bryce, but I thought they played really well. They played in the tournament together at Brown County, and I liked the way they played. Lane is probably going to go to doubles next year, so I want to give him a little time there.”

Hackman defeated Orion Haddan 6-4, 6-2, and Wheeler beat Gavin Baker 6-0, 6-1.

Thomas said, “Two and three singles kind of gave up a little bit there. I knew we’d be pretty strong there. I just wanted Bryce to have some time there.”

Thomas used to coach tennis at BNL before coming to Brownstown.

“I had Smith all primed to go against Graham Turner, but Turner is sick, so he didn’t get to play tonight,” Thomas said. “I feel bad for him. He’s their number one, and I had coached him for a couple years. I think I was more disappointed than their team was. I really wanted him to play Smith. I thought it would be a good match.”

Thomas thought Hackman played well to get his win at No. 1.

Gwin had played most of the season with Reaser at No. 1 doubles. Gwin said when you have a new partner, “You’ve got to see what their differences are and what they’re better at and what works best and what their weaknesses and strengths are and see what we do better.”

Gwin said he and Steward played together in the Brown County Tournament on Aug. 27.

“I think we communicated pretty well, and we got balls in that needed to be in, and we served pretty well, I thought,” Gwin said. “This was a good confidence booster. Maybe the win will give a good start for the teams we’ve got coming up, Salem and Borden.”

The win evened Gwin’s season record at 6-6.

Today, the Braves travel to Salem for a Mid-Southern Conference match, and Monday, they will host Borden.

Gwin said, “I did pretty well (Thursday) getting my first serves in. I probably need to do better with volleys at the net, be a better net player.”

BNL’s Carter Kimmel and Nate Pemberton defeated Elix Preston and Cayden Hall 6-4, 6-4 at No. 2 doubles.

Thomas said, “No. 2 doubles had a little trouble tonight. (BNL’s) doubles are better than you would think.”

Brownstown’s Sam Rohr and Cayden Hall lost their JV singles matches, while Carson Robertson and Jace Reaser lost in doubles.

Today’s match with Salem is scheduled to start at 4:15 p.m.

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