It could not have been closer.
In the Northwest Oregon Conference boys district tennis tournament — held Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, May 9-11, at Parkrose High School — Wilsonville edged away from La Salle to win by just four points.
It was just as close in girls play, with the Falcons slipping past the second-place Wildcats by — can you guess? — just four points. By tournament's end, Wilsonville and La Salle had locked up 14 of 18 berths to the Class 5A state tournament in singles and doubles. The Class 5A state tournament is set for May 20-21, at Portland Tennis Center the first day and Babette Horenstein Tennis Center in Beaverton the second day. Play begins at 8 a.m. each day.
In boys competition, Wilsonville took top honors with 38 points, followed by La Salle 34, Putnam 16, Parkrose 15, Hillsboro 2, St. Helens 2 and Milwaukie 0.
In girls play, La Salle took top honors with 34 points, followed by Wilsonville 30, Hillsboro 20, Parkrose 14, Putnam 12, St. Helens 10, Scappoose 5 and Milwaukie 0.
The Wildcats took their spot at the top of the standings by securing four of the league's eight berths to the Class 5A state tournament, with senior Porter Bowles taking second in singles and senior Benjamin Pinoli finishing fourth. And in doubles, senior Jeven Lundberg and junior Cameron Little teamed up to place third, while sophomore teammates Lucas Anderson and Clayton Troha grabbed fourth.
"I'm extremely happy that our guys were able to compete at the district tournament and find some success along the way," said Wilsonville coach Colton Sundquist. "Porter and Ben are two of the hardest working kids we've ever had. To win the district tournament and send all of our seniors out on top was a special moment for our program."
In the singles championship, top-seeded La Salle sophomore Aidan McBride battled past the second-seeded Bowles 6-0, 0-6, 6-3 to claim the NWOC title. McBride didn't lose a set before the final and lost just six games before his battle with Bowles.
"I'm very proud of what our team accomplished this year … especially considering we are a young team with no seniors and only two juniors," said La Salle coach Mike Stone.
Also headed to state in singles are Parkrose sophomore Andy Truong and Pinoli.
In an all-La Salle doubles championship, top-seeded sophomores Eldon Nichols and Breslin Nichols — they lost just one set in the tournament — edged third-seeded teammates Ryder McCoy-Hansen (a sophomore) and Harris Nguyen (a junior) 6-4, 6-2.
The Falcons built their championship on a balanced team effort that saw freshman Kennedy Harris win the singles title, freshman teammate Joanna Perez Hernandez take third in singles, and juniors Avery Richards and Gabbi Tassinari place third in doubles.
In the singles championship, the top-seeded Harris lost just one game on her way to the final, then knocked off second-seeded Hillsboro senior Margaret Shively 6-2, 6-1.
"Our girls have overcome so much adversity this year, and I couldn't be prouder of them," said La Salle coach David Lane. "They've played more tennis on the basketball court than the tennis court, navigated their way through extremely difficult competition and persevered when it mattered most. This is an amazing group of girls and we're not done yet."
Also headed to state in singles is Scappoose junior Sydney Liao.
In an all-Wilsonville doubles championship, the top-seeded sophomore duo of Mia Poppe and Katie Scoggins batted past second-seeded senior teammates Katyayani Karlapati and Jenna Garlitz 6-3, 6-0. Poppe and Scoggins' closest match in the tournament was a 6-2, 8-6 win over La Salle's Richards and Tassinari in the semifinals.
"The success of any individuals on our team is a result of the success of the team as a whole," said Wilsonville coach Phillip Wu. "We had (four strong) doubles teams. Any could have won on any given day and made each other better players as the season progressed."
Also headed to state in doubles are Parkrose sophomores Shayla Nguyen and Cindy Nguyen.
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