Pilsworth and Lewis both medal at badminton Invitational

Matthew Gourlie
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Max Pilsworth and Nathan Lewis are familiar foes.

The two local badminton players have been competing against each other for three years and Saturday the Grade 10s faced each other again in the medal round of the Moose Jaw Invitational Badminton Tournament.

Pilsworth, from Central, beat Lewis, from Cornerstone, 21-17, 21-16 in the medal round. Pilsworth finished second and Lewis third as they had the highest finishes amongst local players.

"I've lost to him for two years now. Second place is where I'm stuck at," said Lewis who battled Pilsworth at the elementary and junior levels the previous two year. "In Grade 8 I was at Cornerstone and he was King George. He whooped me back then too."

Kieran Forsberg from Regina O'Neill beat Pilsworth 21-17, 21-7 and beat Lewis 21-7, 21-14 to win the boys title. Forsberg was in the same pool as Pilsworth and beat him 21-12, 21-15 as well.

"Usually I don't like losing, but he's really good and he's in Grade 12," said Pilsworth. "He's the guy who beat Jon Phillips last year and Jon always beat me. I thought Jon was going to win provincials."

Pilsworth was clearly tiring as he played his eighth game of the day in the final and it didn't help that Forsberg was adept at moving the shuttle — and Pilsworth — around the court.

"He plays a different game than a lot of people do. Everyone has a different style of game, but his is very tactical," said Pilsworth. "It's hard to play when someone is moving you around."

Pilsworth has a leg up on most of his opponents since he practices year round. His dad Kevin and Mark LeBere both coach him at 15 Wing.

"I guess the training has been paying off," said Pilsworth. "They coach me and take me to the base to play all of the time. It sure helps a lot."

Lewis has been getting his practice on the court so far this season. He has played singles, mixed doubles and boys doubles at various times and has been successful at each. When it comes down to the city championships, however, he is going to focus on singles.

"I've been doing everything I could do just to get the practice in," said Lewis.

Lewis lost one of his pool games, but finished in a three-way tie for first and won his crossover game to get into the medal round.

"I had a bad loss this morning, but I came back. I felt pretty good overall. I thought I could have played better defence against (Pilsworth and Forsberg) and scored more points," he said. "They're both really strong players."

Swift Current's Darby Crozier and Evan Laturnus won the boys doubles title ahead of Avonlea's Kashton Janzen and Ryley Ludwar who finished second. The Swift Current pair won their game 21-16, 21-15. Jarod and Wyatt Wallington from Gravelbourg finished third.

Swift Current's Kimiko Espiritu won the girl's singles title. Assiniboia's Jennifer Packet was second and MacKenzie Kuffner from Avonlea was third.

Rodrigo Raimondo and Nizane Torres from O'Neill won the mixed doubles title, Dylan Mortensen and Shelby Warren from Swift Current were second and Manoc Pouteaux and Breana Kleckner from Gravelbourg finished third.

Swift Current's Marjorie Gonzales and Mary Ann Gonzales won the girl's doubles title. O'Neill's Alma Bajenting and Sharmille Dimaane were second and Mackenzie Eger and Brenna Barrett from Coronach won bronze medals.

Because of conflicts with other events, both of Central's strong mixed doubles team didn't take part and neither did Peacock's Libby Epoch who has been strong in girls singles play during the Moose Jaw league nights. Central's girls doubles team of Marissa Wilson and Annie Riendeau weren't able to compete due to injury.

Organizations: O'Neill's

Geographic location: Swift Current, Avonlea, Moose Jaw

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