Pitman and Turlock high’s players arrived to the Central California Conference Boys Tennis Individual Tournament at the Millennium Sports Club in Merced with high hopes and targets on their back after finishing first and second in the CCC, respectively. The Bulldogs and Pride each had three singles players involved in the tournament, and by the end of the semi finals the cross town rivals found themselves as the sole contestants for first, second and third place.
In the first round Pitman’s Michael Davis, the CCC’s number one seed, faced off against Turlock’s Kyle O’Connor. It took Davis two sets (6-0, 6-3) to claim the match and move on to the next round. Morcos Boutros was up next for Pitman as he also faced a Bulldog, Kemi Asgill. Boutros’ match was slightly tougher than Davis’ but he also won the match in only two sets (6-4, 6-2). Michael Lazar was the first member of the Pride to face someone other than a member of Turlock’s team when he played and defeated Atwater High’s David Kim in landslide sets (6-2, 6-1).
Turlock’s Scott Gray, the CCC’s number two seed, was the only Bulldog to make it out of the first round on Monday with his impressive performance against Atwater’s Gary Harris (6-0, 6-1).
Davis, Boutros, Lazar, and Gray all won their quarter final matches and advanced to the semi finals where Boutros and Davis played each other while Gray took on Lazar. After dropping the first set 1-6, Boutros bounced back with a 7-5 victory over Davis in the second set. With a trip to the singles final on the line, the two Pride teammates pushed each other to the limits of their abilities in a set closer than the second. Boutros emerged victorious with a 7-6 set for the win.
The matchup between Gray and Lazar was much more anticlimactic as Gray breezed to the singles finals in two sets winning 6-1, 6-2.
The stage is now set for the third place match between Lazar and Davis which will be held today and the much anticipated championship match between Gray and Boutros, to be held on Thursday. Gray will enter the match with the advantage in terms of experience as he won the CCC Singles Tournament in 2010 and 2011 and finished as the runner up in 2009.