David Riedmayer thought this season he had one of his deepest tennis teams.
And if results are the gauge, the Beaufort High School boys have proved their coach correct. Beaufort High earned key victories down in the lineup Thursday and ousted Carolina Forest from the Class 4-A playoffs, winning 4-2.
"As you go, you're playing better and better teams," Beaufort High's Malcolm Kates said. "And you know they're going to be better further down the lineup. So you really have to watch the players at the bottom."
The Eagles (14-2) advance to the third round and will host Lexington on Tuesday. Beaufort High has matched its best run in the playoffs, first accomplished in 2006.
Riedmayer's team had not advanced out of the first round the previous four years. But Beaufort High never entered the playoffs as a No. 1 seed during that stretch, as they did this year. That distinction is another reason for the Eagles' success, Kates said.
They also have won points in the right places. Anthony Williams earned a win at No. 4 singles, and Beaufort High's No. 2 doubles team of Rohan Desai and Damonte Glass won in a tiebreaker.
One area coach told Riedmayer that Carolina Forest was strong at its top two singles spots, but if the Eagles could win one of the two they would be in good shape. Kates took care of that, dropping Brendan Nagle 6-4, 6-1.
"To at least get one of them was a big deal," Kates said.
And so, by the time an ailing James Bachety dropped a close match at No. 2, Beaufort High players already knew they had reached a historical milestone.
The win ended a tough week of tennis for Bachety and the Eagles, who got past White Knoll in Tuesday's first-round matchup. Bachety ran a high fever during his match Tuesday and trailed early. After taking an injury timeout and vomiting in a nearby bathroom, Bachety rallied to win.
He was still sick Thursday. Fortunately for the Eagles, they turned in a team performance, something Riedmayer praised them for after the match.
He told them to take Friday off, enjoy the weekend and return to practice Monday ready for Lexington. Riedmayer said the Wildcats are strong at the top and that the Eagles again would need to pull points from the bottom of the lineup to have a chance.
The winner Tuesday advances to the Lower State final.
"We're just happy," Riedmayer said. "Top eight in the state is pretty good right now, for us."
Beaufort High 4, Carolina Forest 2
Singles: No. 1 Malcolm Kates (BHS) def. Brendan Nagle 6-4, 6-1; No. 2 Troy Swartling (CF) def. James Bachety 4-6, 6-4, 10-7; No. 3 Hunter Pylant (BHS) def. Chris Fosberry 7-5, 6-4; No. 4 Anthony Williams (BHS) def. Jeff Fontaine 6-1, 6-3; Caleb Bellamy (CF) def. Alex Angus 6-3, 6-1.
Doubles: No. 2 Rohan Desai/Damonte Glass (BHS) def. Conner Cortese/Liam Buckley 6-3, 3-6, 11-9.