Behind state championships from Edmond North senior David Hager at No. 1 singles and the No. 1 doubles team of Bryan Lilley and Brayden Rucker, the Huskies won their fifth consecutive 6A team title on Saturday.
Hager is the seventh player in state history to win four singles crowns. Playing with a different partner each year, Lilley became the first prep player in state history to win four doubles titles.
Hager and Lilley also became the third and fourth Huskies to win four individual state championships.
The two previous four-time winners for Edmond North were Jennifer DeSpain in tennis and Teyon Ware in wrestling.
Hager won his fourth title when he defeated Conner Finerty of Muskogee, 7-5, 6-0, to capture the No. 1 singles crown. His previous three titles were at No. 2 singles.
“It was a tough first set,” Hager said, who completed a perfect season finishing 29-0. “I think I was a little bit nervous. I think that is expected. State finals, (No.) 1 singles, you got a lot of pressure on you. Once I got past that first set it was pretty good from there on. “
Hager was matched in the accomplishment later on Saturday by Lilley.
In college, Hager will play tennis at Davidson. Lilley will play tennis at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The Huskies were the state academic champs with a grade point average of 3.899. Duncan was the 5A academic champ with a 3.901. Elk City won the 4A academic title with a 3.972.
Edmond Memorial’s Jacob Plant and Chase Brill won the state title at No. 2 doubles in Class 6A.
HERITAGE HALL WINS FINAL MATCH TO CLAIM 5A TROPHY
The state team title in Class 5A was decided by a head-to-head match in the championship finals at No. 2 doubles between defending state champ Cascia Hall and Heritage Hall.
It was the final match of the day and a raucous crowd was cheering on every point with the team championship on the line. Heritage Hall’s Truitt Maxwell and J.T. Zerby won in three sets, 6-4, 2-6, 7-5.
“Once we split (the first two sets), we were sitting on the bench and I started doing the math in my head,” Maxwell said. “I realized if we lost we would lose state. As a senior, I didn’t want us to lose state because of me. I just started playing harder.”
Maxwell and Zerby had lost to the Cascia Hall doubles team of Luke Clawson and Alec Powers in three of the four previous meetings this season.
“Peak in May. That’s all that matters,” Maxwell said.
CHARGERS’ WIN MOVES THEM AHEAD OF CASCIA HALL
Both Heritage Hall and Cascia Hall were tied with 15 state boys’ tennis championships before the Chargers won their 16th on Saturday.
Heritage Hall needed wins in its final four matches Saturday — two in the championship finals and two in third-place contests — to claim the crown.
Heritage Hall freshman Miller Zeiders won the No. 2 singles title and finished the season with a 30-1 record.
NO STATE CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCH IN CLASS 5A
Upsets in the 5A semifinals prevented a rematch of last year’s state championship contest in No. 1 singles.
Oklahoma Christian School’s Read Streller knocked off defending champion Austin Hoose of Cascia Hall, 7-5, 7-5, in one semifinal. Metro Christian’s Jackson Fine defeated last year’s state runner-up, Nick Funches of Heritage Hall, 7-5, 6-4 in the other semifinal.
Fine won the championship match over Streller, 6-3, 6-1.
BYNG KNOCKS ADA FROM 4A THRONE
Byng, led by state championships from both its doubles teams, won its first state team title in tennis and defeated its neighbor, two-time defending champion Ada. The Cougars finished second.
“Our program has come a long way,” said Alan Simpson, the Byng tennis coach for 33 years. “Ada has something to do with it though because we kind of hang on their coattails.
“We kind of gauge ourselves on their success. The last two years we were runner-up to them. We didn’t want to be a bridesmaid this year.”
Byng’s girls were state-runner-up in last week’s championship tennis tournament, their highest finish ever.
“It’s been a great two weeks,” Simpson said.