Peacock wins city title by slim margin

Matthew Gourlie
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Peacock's Blake Olsen and Austin Taylor were happy to come from behind and win the boys doubles city badminton title.

The Moose Jaw high school badminton city champions are: Max Pilsworth, back left, Austin Taylor, Dax Whitehead, Blake Olsen, Emily Pinter, front left, Libby Epoch, Chelsea Fraser and Ashley Patoine.

Little did they know at the time that their win ultimately put Peacock over the top to win the team city title as well.

Olsen and Taylor defeated Central's Aiden Coleman and Cameron Shwengler 18-21, 21-9, 21-13 to win the boys doubles title during the Moose Jaw high school city badminton tournament Thursday at Peacock.

Peacock won the team title by a slim 15-14 margin over Central.

"We just had to place our shots better and stop going out the backs and the sides. We had to make them run a bit and make them tired," said Taylor.

Peacock's Stephen Holzer and Kyle Arndt defeated Daniel Holzer and Levi Kelly from Central  21-17, 21-6 in the bronze medal match.

Central won the mixed doubles title in an upset.

Before Dax Whitehead and Emily Pinter became doubles partners they had never even spoken to each other.

Whitehead and Pinter beat fellow Cyclones Paige Newans and Dalton Wolfe 21-11, 22-20 to win the mixed doubles title. "We usually lose to them, poorly, but today it went really well," said Whitehead. "After the first when it was 21-11 we were wondering what happened: did they screw up or are we playing that well? The second one we didn't play as well and let off a little bit. They made a decent comeback, but we were able to hold them off in the end."

Whitehead is a senior and Pinter is in Grade 10, but after being paired together they've improved over the course of the three league nights. They played their best badminton of the season in the final.

"He was returning a lot of really good shots and I putting a lot more stuff down. We were both into it and had it going," said Pinter.

Tyler Ma and Jenna Coates from Vanier finished third thanks to their 21-17, 21-12 win over Daniel Mutlow and Paige Gallwan.

Peacock's Chelsea Fraser and Ashley Patoine defeated Morgan Patsack and Justine Dalgarno from Cornerstone 21-15, 21-16 in the girls doubles final.

The Grade 11s have been doubles partners since they were in Grade 7 at Lindale.

"We hadn't been doing too well in the last few league nights," said Patoine after they finished third in the previous two league nights.

Peacock's Courtney Azure and Marissa Marshall defeated Central's Diana Lumbala and Marissa Wilson 21-19, 21-18 to finish third.

In the semifinal, Fraser and Patoine dropped the first set in the semifinal against Azure and Marshall, but rallied to win 21-23, 21-18, 21-15.

"We were expecting hard games — and they were," said Fraser. "We found out our opponent's weaknesses and used it to our advantage. We stayed focused and did our best."

There were no upsets in singles play as the two dominant Grade 10 players capped unbeaten league seasons.

Central's Max Pilsworth defeated Cornerstone's Nathan Lewis 21-12, 21-12 to claim the boys singles title and Peacock's Stefan Cartman beat Vanier's Aaron Hill 23-21, 8-21, 21-19 to win bronze.

In girls singles Peacock's Libby Epoch defeated Central's Magbeni Keita 21-10, 21-8.

"I was getting a bit tired and she kept putting it to my backhand so I tried to keep her moving too so she would be as tired as I was," said Epoch.

Epoch beat Peacock's Jaycee Richards 21-15, 18-21, 21-9 in the semifinal.

"Usually our matches are really close and we went to three sets, so I'm glad I won," said Epoch who will be too busy with basketball commitments to play badminton beyond the city tournament.

Riverview's Sabrina Lybeck defeated Richards 21-16, 21-17 in the third-place match.

Geographic location: Moose Jaw

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