Both of the Brookstone tennis teams will be playing today in the GHSA Georgia High School Association Class A state tennis championships at the Clayton County International Park in Jonesboro.
For the Cougars, the foe is a familiar one, Athens Academy, as both teams have battled in past tournaments and this year in the Buckhead tournament, which Brookstone won. This is the boys team's 10th straight appearance in the Class A final four.
"We won that match (against Athens Academy), but there were four tiebreakers on the court," Brookstone boys coach Jim East said. "We know it will be a close match."
The boys match is slated to begin at 10:15 a.m., and the Lady Cougars will play Wesleyan at 11 a.m.
"Our scouting report is that they are well-coached and play good fundamental doubles," Brookstone girls coach Mary Lynne Cumiskey said. "And their No. 1 player, Megan Kelly, has played tournament tennis all over the South and is experienced. I do expect a challenging match."
The girls have a 12-6 team record and defeated Savannah Country Day to make it to the semifinals for the 12th straight year. The Lady Cougars have won 10 state championship, with the first one coming in 1984. The last one came in 2009, which was the third of three straight. The Lady Cougars have fallen in the semifinals the past two seasons, last year to Mount Pisgah and 2010 to Walker.
Brookstone has not played Wesleyan in the state tournament since beating it in the finals in 2002.
The Lady Cougars have their lineup set for the match. It will be Henssey Ngo at No. 1, Avery Hudson at No. 2 and Rachel Levy at No. 3 in singles. In doubles, it will be Jessica Lewis and Abby White at No. 1 and Hendley Badcock and Rosie Jeffery at No. 2.
"Our team played well against Savannah Country Day, and, if we can build on that, then we should be playing in the final," Cumiskey said.
"I am so proud of the team effort everyone had in that match."
The Cougars also will have two alternates making the trip, Catherine Hudson and Mary Hall Slaughter.
If the girls win, they will play the winner of Mount Pisgah vs. Savannah Christian for the state title.
The Cougars are 17-2 after beating Savannah Country Day last week in the quarterfinals.
"George Adams and Joo-Yeok Lee have been real leaders," East said. "All of our players have played many matches and tournaments at Cooper Creek, and I feel we are representing the city of Columbus when we go on court."
Playing for Brookstone in singles will be Kazuki Onoe
at No. 1, Baran Baris at No. 2 and Adams at No. 3. The doubles teams will be Lee and Jonathon Dreelin at No. 1 and Trey Thorne and Sahil Arora at No. 2. The alternate will be Jarib Beazer.
If the Cougars get by Athens Academy, they will meet the winner of Whitefield Academy vs. Calvary Day for the boys title.
The Cougars won the second of their two state titles in 2005, beating Athens Academy. Brookstone has lost six straight semifinal matches since then, including a loss to Athens Academy in 2009.