By Rob Kiser
TROY — It certainly wasn’t the day Lehman Catholic junior Griffin West envisioned on the tennis courts at Troy City Park Saturday.
But, it doesn’t change the fact he already accomplished something his older brother Josh did twice — earn a berth in the Mason Division II district tournament.
West had already done that by advancing to the semifinals with three wins Friday.
On Saturday, the third seed lost to second seed Daniel Detrick of Springfield Shawnee 6-0, 6-1; before losing to Forrest Rowe of Yellow Springs 6-1, 3-6, 6-0 to finish fourth.
Which means he will be playing a district champion from one of the other three districts when it takes the court Thursday at the ATP Tennis Center in Mason.
“I am still playing at district,” West said. “I don’t even really know what to say about today. I guess, it just wasn’t meant to be.”
He opened with a tough match against Detrick.
“That guy (Danny Detrick) basically has no weaknesses,” Lehman Catholic coach Tim Ungericht said. “That is just a tough guy to play. He is a senior and four-time district qualifier. He is not going to give you any openings.”
Ungericht felt the match with the unseeded Rowe could have going a lot differently.
“There are times when Griffin (West) struggles with the mental part of the game,” Ungericht said. “I have talked to him about that. Different things he can do. Just slow down a little bit and not be in such a hurry to play when things aren’t going right.”
West struggled with his ground strokes all match. but after losing the first set 6-1 and trailing 3-1 in the second set, he ran off five straight games to force a third set.
“I felt like I was starting to play better,” West said. “I didn’t play well at all the first set. But, then I started struggling again.”
West, serving the opening game of the third set, scored the first two points to go up 30-love.
But, just as quickly, he lost six straight games and the match was over.
“That’s what happens with Griffin (West) sometimes,” Ungericht said. “He is 16-9. It it wasn’t for things like that, he would probably only have three losses. Two to Phillip Brumbaugh (Milton-Union, who won the district title) and the one to Daniel Detrick.
“But, he has had a great season. The whole team has had a great season. If it wasn’t for Mike (assistant coach Mike Ritze) we never would have had the season we had.”
West says he has one goal for Thursday.
“I know it is going to be a tough match,” he said. “I just want to come out and play better.”
And Ungericht said Thursday is the icing on the cake.
“He made it to district,” he said. “Just go out and enjoy the experience.”
Because, his season isn’t over yet.
Rob Kiser is Sports Editor for the Daily Call. He can be reached at (937) 451-3334.