Foreign exchange student wins opening round match, before falling in second round

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Pablo Casado follows through after hitting a shot at the Intermountain Conference District Championships. After finishing second at district, Casado won his first round match at state before falling to eventual state champion Alle Banna of Churchill in the quarterfinals.The Crook County Cowboys' lone representative to the state tennis championships, which were held Friday and Saturday, May 17-18 in Portland and Beaverton, was Spanish foreign exchange student Pablo Casado.

Casado was a surprise second-place finisher at the Intermountain Conference Championships, but drew a tough draw for the state meet.

After rolling past freshman Christian Olson of La Salle Prep in the opening round of the tournament on Friday, May 17, Casado had to play the No. 1 seed and defending state champion in the quarterfinals.

Churchill junior Alle Banna quickly showed why he was the No. 1 seed, rolling past Casado 6-1, 6-0.

Banna then defeated IMC champion Breaden Brooks of Redmond 6-2, 6-1 in the semifinals before whipping No. 2 seed Bojan Soskic of Crescent Valley 6-3, 6-2 in the finals.

Despite Banna's individual championship, the Redmond Panthers won the team title, while Crescent Valley finished in second, Churchill third and La Salle Prep fourth.

Redmond's Benny Saito and Skyler Jones won the state doubles championship, defeating Eddie Hu and Lukas Reinkenobbe of Corvallis in the championship.

Corvallis and Hood River Valley tied for fifth, while with two points from Casado, the Cowboys tied for eighth in the 16-team field.

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