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McLane, Guentert form 1-2 punch for Brookwood

While many girls tennis teams in the state struggle to find a strong No. 1 singles player, Brookwood doesn't have that problem.

The Broncos have two.

Dana Guentert and Courtney McLane, the Daily Post's Girls Tennis Players of the Year, gave their team a strong 1-2 punch in singles this season and helped Brookwood to a Class AAAAA runner-up finish. Either sophomore was capable of handling the top singles spot for Brookwood, but Guentert got the nod this season.

And either could be the top player in most high school programs.

"That is a great luxury to have (two high-level singles players)," said Brookwood tennis coach Angie McLane, also Courtney's mother. "Against Walton in the state finals was about the only time I couldn't guarantee two wins from those two. They had good matches with Northview and I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out with them because we had never played them before.

"But (Guentert and McLane) played well. It was really impressive, a dominant show."

Both singles players rolled through most of the high school slate this year, with Guentert going 14-1 and McLane going 12-0. Guentert's only loss was in the state finals to highly regarded Walton standout Cameron Ellis, a Georgia commitment.

Nearly all of their matches were quick, straight-set victories where they didn't lost many points, much less games. Neither lost a set until the state finals vs. eventual champion Walton.

Despite the lack of demanding matches, the players still enjoy high school tennis.

"The relationships with our team members keep us going," Guentert said. "Your friends are playing with you in high school and you want to win for them."

"You're supporting your school, that's a big part of it," McLane said. "It's loyalty to your school. You want to do the best you can for the school."

Both players also do well in school - Guentert has a 4.0 GPA and McLane has a 3.9 - one of a few similarities between the pair. They enjoy the same things and they both plan to play college tennis (McLane, also the Broncos' point guard in basketball, is leaning toward college tennis).

They also train with the same tennis coach, regularly hitting with each other in practice.

But just because they practice together doesn't mean their games are the same.

"They're extremely different," Angie McLane said of the standouts. "Dana is known for her footwork when we travel around the tournament circuit. She has the best footwork you'll see. She's also known for her precision. She just doesn't miss.

"Courtney's known for her sheer power. She has a big forehand, a big serve. She's athletic with power."

It seems only Walton can slow Brookwood, or its top two players, down.

The Raiders eliminated the Broncos in the 2005 quarterfinals and repeated that effort in this spring's state finals. Ellis defeated Guentert and McLane had split sets with Walton's Katie Kilborn after fighting through broken strings on two rackets and a bout with her asthma. McLane's match was stopped when Walton clinched the title, 3-1.

Most of Walton's top players were juniors this spring and most of Brookwood's were sophomores, so the two teams appear headed for another rematch in 2007.

"Hopefully we can get back to the state finals and take down Walton if we can," Guentert said.

Girls Players of the Year: Dana Guentert, Brookwood, Soph., Courtney McLane, Brookwood, Soph.

Guentert: 14-1 record for state runner-up team

McLane: Had 12-0 record as team reached state finals

Girls team

Singles

Sonia Anand, Grayson, Jr.

12-1 record at No. 1 singles

Lindsay Hearn, Norcross, Sr.

7-6 at No. 1 singles

Chelsea Sanders, GAC, Soph.

17-4 record at No. 1 singles

Doubles

Whitley Lewis, Soph./Brittany Lewis, Sr., Grayson

12-0 record at No. 1 doubles

Paige Ivey, Sr./Lindsey Peyton, Soph., Brookwood

8-AAAAA Doubles Team of the Year