BHS’s Glover glides to tournament titles
Blake Glover was on a mission Saturday at the Baldwin Invitational Tennis Tournament. The Baldwin High School senior wasn't going to let what happened to him last year happen again.
He was going to finish his BIT career the way he started as champion.
Glover finished first in the tourney as a freshman and a sophomore. Then last year he was beaten in the finals by a foreign exchange student, for his first-ever BIT loss. It was bitter and he wasn't going to allow a repeat, not even to Independence's Sherman Brown, a standout player who finished sixth in the Class 5A state tournament last year.
Glover disposed of Brown 8-5 in the No. 1 singles division to once again reign as champion.
"It's real special since its our own tournament," said Glover. "Last year really hurt. I got beat up pretty bad. This year I wasn't going to let that happen. I wasn't going to lose this year."
First-year BHS coach Troy Webb, who had helped arrange Saturday's match to insure Glover would be tested, liked what he saw.
"He got in his head," Webb said of Glover. "Blake came out and played great tennis from the start and that frustrated Brown, who is a good player.
"Blake really hadn't had much competition this year," he said. "It was good to see that he's where he should be at this time of the year."
Glover's finish gave BHS its 20 points, which was good for fifth place. Independence won the tourney with 43 points, followed by Ottawa (25), Gardner (22), Paola (20), BHS (20), Neodesha (16), Iola (11) and DeSoto (3). Paola edged BHS in head-to-head play.
Baldwin High's No. 2 singles player, John D'Orvilliers finished with an 0-3 record. The No. 1 doubles team of Jeff Wagner and Lucas Johnson, who were playing as a team for the first time, went 1-2. The No. 2 doubles team of Hans Broers and Cory Venable, playing in their first varsity action this year, also went 1-2. None of those finishes earned a place.
"It went well," Webb said of the tournament. "Independence usually doesn't bring their good kids, but they did this year and cleaned house. It was good for Blake to have that competition.
"We got to see some kids from different areas that we hadn't played, so it was good," he said. "It was beautiful weather we all got fried."
It wasn't too long before BHS was back on the Baldwin tennis courts, both at BHS and Baker. The Ottawa Invitational Tournament was Monday in Baldwin, as it has been for years. Glover again won the title.
"It's great," Glover said of the Ottawa tourney. "I've never lost at the Ottawa tournament. Maybe I play better on my home turf two days later (after the BIT)."
Glover downed Shawnee Mission Aquinas freshman Zach Blue 6-1, 6-3 for the title.
"It kind of showed," Glover said of Blue's youth. "He got down on himself real quick. I had to take advantage of that."