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East Pennsboro was too tough for James Buchanan the second time around, and the Rockets suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of the Panthers. Video by Lizi Arbogast

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With a lot on the line on Friday, James Buchanan’s boys tennis team simply couldn’t deliver.

The Rockets had the opportunity to put a stranglehold on the Mid Penn Colonial Division title with a win over East Pennsboro. But the Panthers knew what was on the line as well and avenged an earlier loss with a 4-1 victory.

“The boys are disappointed, but East Pennsboro is strong,” JB coach Terri Beegle said. “Our focus now is still making sure we get into the top eight in districts, so we can’t have any letdowns. We just need to regroup and refocus and get ready for Mid Penns.”

Heading into the match, the Rockets (11-2, 6-2 MPC) were sitting at second in District 3 Class AA power rankings, while East Penn (11-1, 9-1 MPC) was right behind in third. James Buchanan now must hope for someone to take down the Panthers, as both the Rockets and Palmyra have two losses in the division.

At No. 3 singles, Hunter Sowers was the only victor for JB on Friday. After dominating his first set, 6-2, he had to eke out a victory in Set 2. But he did his job, pulling out a 10-8 win in a tiebreaker to claim a straight-set victory.

"Those two were very evenly matched," Beegle said. "They were steady, and Hunter made the least amount of mistakes. Hunter did a great job of mixing up his shots and making (Greg Waznik) make the mistakes."

No. 1 singles player Chance Wishard had a rough start to his day. He lost 6-1 in the first set to East Penn's Logan Grouse, but he came back to give Grouse a fight. He eventually lost Set 2, 7-5.

"Chance palyed well; he was hitting the ball well," Beegle said. "He made that kid work for everything he got. Logan made a lot of unforced errors, but Chance also had some great shots."

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