The Green Canyon boys tennis team never gave up Saturday afternoon and found enough energy to take home a state championship trophy at the 6A state tennis tournament at Liberty Park in Salt Lake City.
The Wolves earned one of three trophies the Utah High School Activities Association had to give away after the No. 2 doubles team of Zach Crane and Carson Shakespear rallied from a huge deficit to beat their Cache County rivals from Ridgeline and force a a rare three-way tie for the team title with the Riverhawks and defending champion Crimson Cliffs.
The nearly two-hour match was one of the highlights of Saturday’s semifinals and finals between teams from the opposite ends of Utah.
Crimson Cliffs grabbed the early lead thanks to singles championships by Liam Duffin and Jackson Holman, but then Ridgeline gained momentum with Ayden Rupp’s title in No. 3 singles, and the Wolves and Green Canyon battled each other in doubles play to get into contention.
Ridgeline had to win just one of its doubles matches to claim the title, but fell to its Region 11 rival each time.
“We’re already rivals, but especially in tennis, and this will only add to it,” said Green Canyon coach Christian Davenport.
“We thought we could win it (state), but it would be tough. This game is all about momentum. You can’t give up, and you always have to keep competing.”
That was clearly the case for Crane and Shakespear, who edged William Geddes and Bridger Coates of Cedar 7-6 (2), 6-2 in a semifinal match Saturday, then came back to face a pair of familiar faces – Isaac Peterson and Davis Low of Ridgeline, whom they had beaten previously this season to gain the No. 1 seed in the state tourney’s RPI rankings.
The boisterous crowd cheered every point and even the players grew emotional.
“(The players) all know each other,” Davenport said. “They play year-around in tournaments. It’s a small environment and they even play pick-up games in town (Logan).”
Peterson and Low handily won the first set, but then the tide turned and Crane and Shakespear never let up and were the vocal leaders as Green Canyon celebrated its first state boys tennis title since it opened in 2017.
4A boys state tennis tournament
At Liberty Park, Salt Lake City
1. Green Canyon, Crimson Cliffs, Ridgeline 11
4. Snow Canyon 5
5. Desert Hills 4
6. Pine View 3.
7. Dixie, Logan 2
9. Cedar 1.
Saturday’s individual results
- Liam Duffin (Crimson Cliffs) def. Jaden Wittwer (Desert Hills) 6-4, 6-4.
- Kaden Koch (Pine View) def. Dillon Johnson (Ridgeline) 7-5, 6-4.
- Duffin def. Koch 6-4, 6-0.
- Jackson Holman (Desert Hills) def. Thatcher Ellis (Ridgeline) 6-2, 6-4.
- Luke Jolley (Crimson Cliffs) def. Gavin Bishop (Dixie) 6-1, 6-3.
- Jolley def. Holman 6-1, 6-3.
- Ayden Rupp (Ridgeline) def. Nathan Bentley (Crimson Cliffs) 6-2, 6-4.
- Jack Huish (Green Canyon) def. Michael Winward (Dixie) 6-1, 7-6 (5).
- Rupp def. Huish 6-2, 6-4.
- Chad Jeppson-Luke Westwood (Green Canyon) def. Kayson Reeder-Ben Olson (Ridgeline) 4-6, 7-6 (4), 6-4.
- Braden Koch-Bryce Jensen (Snow Canyon) def. Caleb Xu-Phillip Xu (Logan) 6-4, 6-2.
- Koch-Jensen def. Jeppson-Westwood 6-3, 7-6 (10).
- Zach Crane-Carson Shakespear (Green Canyon) def. William Geddes-Bridger Coates (Cedar) 7-6 (2), 6-2.
- Isaac Peterson-Davis Low (Ridgeline) def. Kobe Larsen-Kort Larsen (Logan) 6-3, 6-1.
- Crane-Shakespear def. Peterson-Low 2-6, 7-6 (6), 6-2.