Clayton may have won another Greater Neuse River Conference boys dual team tennis title this season, but the Comets would have to settle for sharing top honors at the singles and doubles tournaments at Rolesville High School on Thursday.
Clayton’s Banks Evans knocked off Southeast Raleigh’s LaQuon Gilchrist, 6-2, 6-2 in the singles tournament final, but East Wake’s Khadeem Dublin and Jake Clement claimed the doubles title with a 6-4, 6-4 win over Clayton’s Jacob Granger and Christopher Riley.
Evans, a sophomore, didn’t lose a game in three earlier victories against West Johnston’s David Atik, East Wake’s Will D’Allaird and Southeast Raleigh’s Prudencio Munoz.
The run through the tournament improved his match record to 20-0 on the season as the Comets’ No. 1 singles player. It’s a mantle he took over from his brother, Klein, who signed with Richmond after graduating last season.
“I feel like I’ve taken my brother’s spot pretty quickly,” he said. “Everyone looks up to me on the team. It’s just great, and I try to make everyone on the team better, including myself. This year has been really good, and I’ve enjoyed just about every part of it.”
Clayton’s Dillon Hyde won the third-place match against Munoz. Rolesville’s Dillon Dodson will join the other top-five finishers in the regionals next week.
In the doubles tournament, Dublin and Clement didn’t drop a set en route to the title and reached the final by knocking off Rolesville’s Nathan Stewart and Wesley Pritzlaff, 6-2, 6-4.
“There were some really good teams we played today,” Clement said. “Fortunately, we came out on top.”
“We had a pretty good season as a doubles team,” Dublin said. “As a team, on the whole, we didn’t do the best. But me and him, we got right when it came to doubles. We did what we did all season, and that’s finish. Finish each point.”
Garner’s Jared Ingram and Spencer Kleft won the third-place match over Stewart and Pritzlaff.
In the fifth-place doubles match, Garner’s John Yokley and Colton Wood defeated West Johnston’s Josh Fink and Andrew Ryan, 6-2, 6-0, to claim the final spot in the regionals.
These players will compete in the 4A Mideast regionals in Raleigh on May 5-6.