Cleveland’s Dylan Betancourt won an NCHSAA 3A individual singles regional championship Monday, posting four consecutive straight set victories.
He will be joined in this weekend’s state championships by teammate Quinton Gonzalez and Clayton’s Klein Evans (in the 4A ranks), who also qualified in singles play.
Betancourt defeated his semifinal opponent George Shannon of Rocky Mount, 6-1, 6-1, then downed Northern Nash’s Tremel Davis, 6-2, 6-1, in the regional championship. He won his first round and second round matches by combined game counts of 24-4.
“Dylan is very good with not playing around with his opponent--he goes in, does what he needs to do, and then moves on,” said Cleveland coach Emily Purvis. “The championship match seemed a lot closer than the score indicated, but Dylan played smart tennis, and was able to win. It was a very enjoyable match to watch.”
Gonzalez got a tough draw in his opening round match but beat Jacksonville’s Keenan Chaucer, 6-7 (4-7), 6-2, 6-4, in a two-plus hour match. He fought through leg cramps in his second match of the day for a 6-1, 7-5 win over Rocky Mounty’s Tyler Brice.
“In the semis on Monday, Quinton had to face Davis, and was unable to pull out the win (5-7, 3-6),” Purvis said. “They played a very good and close match. In the consolation round, he played Shannon. The two had very long rallies, which made for another long match. Quinton was finally able to win in three sets, 7-5, 4-6, 6-1.”
4A Mideast: In the 4A mideast regional in Raleigh, Evans fell to good friend and former state champion Nick Stachowiak of Middle Creek in the regional championship singles match, 6-1, 6-3.
Stachowiak missed the 2014 season because of a back injury after winning the state championship as a freshman.
“It feels good to win regionals again,” said Stachowiak, who now aims for a second title in three years in the 4A state tournament Friday and Saturday at Millbrook Exchange.
Stachowiak and Evans are friends, but it was the first time they met in a high school match.
“It’s always hard to beat a friend, but I had to work my way through it,” Stachowiak said. “You have to be ready for anything because he has nothing to lose. I was off for a year, but I feel better physically. I’m playing better tennis than as a freshman.”
State champs sweep Comets in dual playoffs: Wakefield, last year’s 4A state champion, blanked Clayton 6-0, but Wolverines coach Ken Stewart came away with a lot of respect for the Comets.
“Clayton played awfully hard,” Stewart said. “We had some great matches.”
Bo Boyden, the 2014 4A singles champion, defeated Klein Evans 6-1, 6-1. Jensen Martin, who will play with Boyden in the doubles in the individual tournament on Friday, topped Brooks Campbell 6-3, 6-1.
Blake Carter, Nico Grewe, Lake Ihly and Robert Belonga also won in straight sets, dropping a total of four games.
Clayton posted a 16-1 dual mark on the season.