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State tennis: Missoula Hellgate girls serve up changing of the guard in Class AA

Posted at 10:06 PM, May 26, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-01 10:57:36-04

The Class AA and Class A tennis tournaments wrapped up Friday in Kalispell and Missoula, and Missoula Hellgate's girls highlighted the day by ending one school's long stay atop of the AA ranks.

Hellgate came away with the girls team title, snapping Bozeman High's 10-year run as champs. Following are highlights from all three classifications:

State AA

KALISPELL — Hellgate's girls, led by a singles title from Elliotte Banzinger and a doubles crown by the duo of Brooke Best and Laine Banzinger finished the tournament with 32 points to win the team championship in runaway fashion.

Elliotte Banzinger won the singles title with a 6-0, 6-1 victory over Helena's Qayl Kujala. Best and Laine Banzinger defeated Kalispell Glacier's Haven Speer and Sarah Downs 6-3, 6-0 for the doubles championship.

Gallatin's boys were led by a singles championship from freshman Mason McCarty, who beat defending champ Ryan Ashley of Helena Capital 6-2, 6-3 in the final match. The Raptors scored 29 teams points to outlast second-place Glacier and Great Falls CMR, each with 23 points, and win the team championship.

The boys doubles title was won by Harrison Sanders and Timothy Glanville of Glacier, who topped Gallatin's Brody Smith and Braeden Butler 6-3, 6-4.

State A

MISSOULA — In Class A, the boys singles title went to Hamilton's Andy Purcell and the girls singles championship was won by Polson's Clara Todd. Purcell defeated Polson's Torrin Ellis in three sets, 6-3, 4-6, 6-2. Todd beat Cloey Ramage of Columbia Falls in straight sets, 6-1, 6-1.

For doubles, the boys crown was won by Ben McElwee and Trent Wilson of Polson, who outlasted the Billings Central tandem of Matthew Newbury and Gabbo Giammattei.

The win by McElwee and Wilson, combined with Ellis' second-place showing in singles, allowed Polson to win the team championship.

The girls doubles championship was claimed by Rachel Fluckinger and Eden Kindberg of Dillon. They survived a second-set tiebreak and bested the Corvallis duo of Jayde Venema and Breklyn Jessop in a three-set thriller, 3-6, 7-6(7-2), 6-4.

Miles City's girls, with a third- and fourth-place finishes by teammates Alina Kot and Bryn Coffin, won their first team title since 1991.

State B-C

GREAT FALLS — The final matchups are set in Class B-C, which will wrap up its state tournament on Saturday.

For boys, the singles final pits Clay Rouse against Missoula Loyola's Dillon Taylor. The doubles championship has Loyola's Carter Topp and Joe Kirschenmann facing Keaton Reimer and Gabriel Shaffer.

On the girls side, the singles title will be battled for by Mya Berreth of Chinook and Maya Wilson of Fairfield. The doubles crown will be decided between Gio Horner and Ava Bellamah of Loyola and twins Laura and Kaylee Zietzke of Simms.