Locals fare well on home court

Lucas Punkari

For the third year in a row, Ben Andrusco finished atop the heap of the men’s ‘A’ event at the Wes Derksen Open squash tournament held over the weekend at the Memorial Sports Centre.
The best-of-five final went the full distance before Andrusco prevailed over long-time friend Jason Kabel.
Andrusco took the fifth and deciding set by a 13-11 score, preventing Kabel from becoming the first Fort Frances player to win the ‘A’ side of the bracket in more than 20 years.
Third place in the ‘A’ division went to local junior Anniss Seid, who knocked off 12-time tournament winner Bob Shine.
“It just came down to not playing enough at that level of play,” Shine, a native of Thunder Bay, said afterwards.
“This shows that the depth is starting to come through here in this area, especially with the junior kids as they begin to play at a higher level,” Shine added.
In the men’s ‘B’ division, John Sivonen finally got the monkey off his back as he defeated Bob Tkachuk 3-1 to capture the title.
“I’ve lost to Bob about four times now, so at least I got a chance to redeem myself,” Sivonen said.
“I just tried to keep Bob to the back of the court because he’s really good up in front, and that game plan paid off,” he added.
Adam Clarke of Sioux Lookout captured the men’s ‘C’ crown by sweeping local Jason Kellar 3-0 while the ‘D’ crown was taken by Alex Brueyer after a 3-1 victory over Jamie Jensen.
A pair of Thunder Bay players battled it out for the novice trophy, with John Zajac downing Aaron Rudnicki 3-1.
Jesse Quesnel defeated fellow Sunset Country Squash Club member Sydney Radigan to capture third-place honours in the novice division.
In the ladies’ ranks, the ‘B’ crown went to local junior Anika Alexander, who beat Mary-Beth Tkachuk in the final.
Meanwhile, fellow local junior Sara Coish captured the ladies’ ‘C’ title thanks to her total points accumulated during the round-robin affair.
In related news, four members of the Sunset Country Squash Club will be competing at the Junior Ontario teams tournament slated March 4-6 in Niagara-on-the-Lake.
Seid and Alexander will be joined there by Shawn Brady and Angel McCormack.