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Bates completes 4-peat, Glacier wins boys title

Published On: May 17 2013 07:52:27 PM MDT   Updated On: May 19 2013 09:33:38 PM MDT
Kellen Bates tennis

Kellen Bates ended his high school career exactly as expected Friday in Great Falls; The Wolfpack senior snatched up his 4th consecutive state title in boys singles action.

Bates dispensed of Hellgate's Dylan Harvala in straight sets 6-2, 6-1 to earn more hardware for himself. 

"I mean I wouldn't want it any other way," said Bates following his last high school match.  "I was able to play well enough in that last match to make it quick and that's exactly how I wanted to close it out."

Bates finishes his career as possibly the most dominant tennis player the Treasure State has ever had.  He never lost a match all four years of high school and he only dropped one set this season.

Glacier was also victorious in boys doubles action.  The Wolfpack duo of Spencer Johnson and Britton Walton earned the title with a three set win 6-1, 4-6, 6-3 over Big Sky's Aaron Koerner and Colin Bahin.

"We like to fight so we weren't going to lose that last one, it means a lot to win state," said Johnson after the win.  "It's awesome and I don't think it's sunk in yet but it's really fun to win and especially for our first year."

Glacier took home the boys team title with 29 points, dethroning Hellgate which finished 2nd at 25 points.  Helena High was 3rd at 16 points.

In girls singles play it was a rematch of last year's state final between Glacier's Katya Kulikova and Molly Crum of Great Falls.  Last season it was Kulikova that took him the title, but this year it was Crum who earned the state championship in front of her home crowd in Great Falls.  Crum defeated Kulikova in straight sets 6-2, 6-1.

Girls doubles was a hawks nest on the court as Bozeman's Renae Ockford and Sophie Allen took down their own teammates Zoe Lindgren and Madi Pederson.  The contest was extremely tight and came down to a third set tie-breaker, but that's where Ockford and Allen got the win.

"Our semifinal match was just like this one," said the senior Ockford.  "We knew in the finals they were going to give it their all and we gave it our all so we knew it was going to be hard."

Bozeman won the team title easily with 42 points.  Followed by Glacier (22 points) and Great Falls (13 points, all scored by Crum).