Lake area neighbors Osage and Camdenton met on the tennis courts Monday night and an 8-2 doubles win from Logan Havner and Ethan Kuscik delivered the Indians a 5-4 victory on their home courts.

It came down to one final match.

Lake area neighbors Osage and Camdenton met on the tennis courts Monday night and an 8-2 doubles win from Logan Havner and Ethan Kuscik delivered the Indians a 5-4 victory on their home courts.

“It is nice to play locally. You get more people at your matches and the kids always love that,” Osage coach Jeremy Anderson said of the annual battle for Lake area bragging rights. “We were able to squeeze one out tonight and that is always nice. It is only our second win of the year, but now is the time to start winning.”

Osage had actually jumped out to an early 4-1 lead in a mix of singles and doubles matches, but Camdenton found a way to fight back to bring it down to a final match. Camdenton coach Kirk Richey would like for there to not be a hole to dig out of in the first place.

“There were a few good matches out there, but it is what it is. We just did not come ready to play at all so it is hard to come back against a decent team like Osage,” he said. “I put a lot on the couple of seniors to be better leaders moving forward so we can start playing our better tennis when it counts come the conference and district tournament. It was a good battle and we came back there towards the end. It came down to that doubles match so it was good and I was proud of them.”

Osage’s Drew Elley was an 8-4 winner in singles play over Camdenton’s Noah Morgan and he was joined by Tony Floyd who won his match in an 8-0 sweep over Reese Esqueda and Kuscik who battled to an 8-2 win over Aiden Risner. The doubles duo of Floyd and Elley were 8-3 winners in the top doubles match as well against Rocky Jennings and Morgan and Havner and Kuscik sealed the win over Esqueda and Risner.

“I’ve got a few players that are playing really consistent. Our number two Drew Elley is hitting the ball well and staying out of his own head, which is good,” Anderson noted. “Our number four Ethan Kuscik is the same way, just steady, and it does not matter what is happening in the match. He is never overaggressive, but he is always right there doing the best he can do.”

And in the sport of tennis, the thing Anderson would love to see the most is consistency throughout the lineup moving forward. The team’s work ethic inclines him to believe that goal can be attained.

“The good thing is we’ve come a long way I think from the beginning of the year just in our work habits,” he remarked. “We work way harder on the court now than we did at the beginning of the year and I think that shows not just in a win like tonight, but even in our tough matches where we have not pulled out wins. You’ve seen us not give up and that is super important. It is nice to see that.”

Camdenton’s Rocky Jennings was able to topple Havner at the top of the lineup in the top singles match 8-5 and Blake Roettgen also picked up a win for the Lakers in an 8-0 sweep over Colin Smithson while Coleman Darnall earned an 8-2 win over Osage’s Ryan Page. The doubles team of Roettgen and Darnall were a success as well downing Page and Smithson 8-1.

Richey said it is time for the team to get back to work.

“I just think a lot of it is mental being ready to play when they step on the court. I see a lot of things we need to improve on every day in practice and that is on me,” the coach stated. “We are going to take care of some stuff tomorrow at practice and hopefully get better moving forward.”

Osage (2-8) visits Mexico on Thursday at 4:30 p.m. Camdenton (3-6) will get ready for tournament play on Thursday at the Waynesville Invitational.