By Brian Holtzapple
For The Daily Item
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT -- There is a first time for everything, and for the Lewisburg High boys tennis team such a moment came on Tuesday.
Over the last four years the Green Dragons have been working hard towards getting an elusive first win in the PIAA Tournament, and they finally succeeded in that quest against the Scranton Prep Cavaliers.
After both of Lewisburg's doubles teams came out on top in their matches, Kerry Shutt followed with a straight-set win at No. 2 singles to clinch the Green Dragons' 3-1 first-round victory over District 2 champ Scranton Prep at the West Branch Racquet Club.
"This is a pretty amazing feeling. These guys played so well today, and they knew (Tuesday) was the day they've been working for. I'm so proud of them," said Lewisburg coach Matt Barr, whose team advances to play District 7 champ Sewickley Academy in the quarterfinals on Friday at 12:30 p.m. at the Hershey Racquet Club.
"Some of that experience of being (at states) and getting their clocks cleaned has been good. These guys saw that and they've been there, and it's been good for them to feel that pain and know they have to work for it."
In the day's decisive match Shutt defeated Keller McQurrin, 6-3, 6-4. Shutt trailed 4-3 in the second set, but he went on to win three straight games to give Lewisburg (18-1) its monumental victory.
"We knew that Lewisburg has never won a state match, so to be the first ones to do it in our senior year is pretty special," said Shutt, who is among a group of eight seniors that has won 54 of 56 regular-season matches and also claimed three District 4 titles during the last four years, but had no wins in the state playoffs to show for their efforts.