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High school tennis: Rams edge T-Birds to claim 4A title

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Timpview's John Pearce won the No. 1 singles match at the 4A tournament, but Highland won the team championship.

Timpview’s John Pearce won the No. 1 singles match at the 4A tournament, but Highland won the team championship.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Highland ended Timpview's seven-year string of state tennis championships — and by the narrowest of margins.

The Rams beat the Thunderbirds by a single point to win the 4A boys state tennis title in an epic day of tennis at Liberty Park.

"It feels so awesome," said Highland coach Mark Foote. "To finally beat Timpview is very motivating, but also very tough."

The key component for Highlands was the success of their doubles teams.

Senior Patrick Ludlow and freshman Jihoon Noh knocked out Mountain View's Taylor Warner and Humberto Argaez in the semifinals, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1. The win locked them into the first doubles championship, where they would meet Timpview partners Tanner Christensen and Ryan Nash.

The Rams duo beat Timp?view in the first set 6-3 to take the early first set lead.

Timpview rallied to take the 3-0 lead in the second set, but Highland stormed back to win the set 6-4 to claim the first doubles title.

The victory gave Highland crucial points, and also kept Timpview off the board.

In second doubles, Highland juniors Tyler Glauser and Preston Larson got the better of Timpview's Tyler Cusick and Brandon Wardrop in a three-set thriller in semifinal play. The duo cruised past Mountain View's Shawn Wible and Gentry Wiscombe in the finals, 6-3, 6-0.

"It was so important that our doubles teams won for us," said Foote. "It seemed like they all got to the point where they couldn't be beaten."

Highland had taken the lead with 18 points, and with Chas Foote playing in the second singles championship the title was within their grasp.

Chas Foote got off to a good start in the first set against Bonneville's Jay Walter, but the freshman battled back 2-3 to keep things close. Foote turned it up and took the first set 6-4, but had to work hard in the second set to down his opponent.

Walter took an early 3-2 lead, and the threat of a third set loomed large. Chas Foote rebounded to take the 5-4 advantage, and fired two aces in the last break to claim the title.

"I was really confident after that first ace," said Chas Foote. "I knew I had to step out onto the court and make him beat me."

He didn't know that he could clinch the team title with a win, but, "I kind of had my suspicions with all the team and fans making their way over, but I'm happy I didn't know for sure."

Timpview finished out their remaining singles positions to claim the second place trophy. After losing the first set 6-0, T-bird sophomore John Pearce outlasted Woods Cross senior Matt Cowley in a tough three-set match.

"Sometimes you dig yourself a hole where your options are to be buried, or dig yourself out," said Timpview coach Rob Sperry. "John responded with a voice that said fight."

In third singles, Timpview junior Zach Brown cruised past Lehi's J.J. Tenney 6-0, 6-3 to claim the championship and earn his team 19 overall points.

"I think good things happened today," said Sperry. "It's really important to me that we lost with grace. We've received more than our share of wins and blessings."

Highland, on the other hand, was celebrating.

"My dad has built this program up," said Chas Foote, "so it's gratifying to finally win one."

4A Boys Tennis

May 14-15

Liberty Park

Day 2

First Singles

Semifinals — Cowley, Woods Cross def. Bacon, Bountiful, 6-2, 6-1; Pearce, Timpview def. Lane, Highland, 6-2, 6-4.

Championship — Pearce, Timpview def. Cowley, Woods Cross, 0-6, 6-4, 6-3.

Second Singles

Semifinals — Foote, Highland def. Hawkes, Woods Cross, 7-6 (9-7), 6-4; Walter, Bonneville def. Pattison, Bountiful, 6-2, 3-6, 6-4.

Championship — Foote, Highland def. Walter, Bonneville, 6-4, 6-4.

Third Singles

Semifinals — Tenney, Lehi def. Applegate, Bountiful 6-1, 4-6, 6-4; Brown, Timpview, def. Ballam, Logan, 6-1, 6-1.

Championship — Brown, Timpview def. Tenney, Lehi 6-0, 6-3.

First Doubles

Semifinals — Ludlow & Noh, Highland def. Warner & Argaez, Mtn. View, 3-6, 6-3, 6-1; Christensen & Nash, Timpview def. Coombs & Griffin, Sky View, 6-3, 3-6, 6-2.

Championship — Ludlow & Noh, Highland def. Christensen & Nash, Timpview, 6-4, 6-4.

Second Doubles

Semifinals — Glauser & Larson, Highland def. Cusick & Warner, Timpview, 2-6, 6-3, 6-2; Wible & Wiscombe, Mtn. View def. Peck & Tenney, Lehi, 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-4.

Championship — Glauser & Larson, Highland, def. Wible & Wiscombe, Mtn. View, 6-3, 6-0.

e-mail: cjohnson@desnews.com