NBL Boys Doubles Tournament To Decide Regional Championships Entry

Posted By Press Democrat Staff Writer Michael Coit:

The best in North Bay League boys’ tennis are in action Friday at the doubles tournament to decide who advances to the North Coast Section championships.

The only player not in the competition is Marky Cantu, the Ukiah ace who won the NBL singles tournament last weekend.

Top singles players led by runner up Tom Ou, from Piner, and Arthur Lai, of Maria Carrillo, play on in the league doubles tournament Friday at Daniel Galvin Community Park, in Santa Rosa. Matches begin at 2 p.m. with 32 teams entered.

Team competition continues over the next two weeks. But the title will be decided Monday if Maria Carrillo defeats Cardinal Newman because the host Pumas won their first meeting this season with the Cardinals. A Cardinal Newman win means the school’s share the NBL crown and must play a tiebreaker match with the winner advancing to the NCS team championships.

While those two teams have dominated league play, the best players are spread among a handful of schools.

“It’s competitive. It’s more of an even playing field at the top this year,” said Cardinal Newman coach Tony Greco.

Singles champion Cantu had some close matches to take the league title. An All-Empire pick as a junior, Cantu picked up his game with a second summer of work at a camp in South Carolina.

“This year he’s really come around,” said Ukiah coach Richard Diaz “He’s become a better all around player. He’s very consistent. He doesn’t beat himself.”

Singles runner up Ou also is a returning All-Empire player. Piner number two singles player Kevin To is expected to join Ou in a formidable doubles team.

Maria Carrillo’s ace, Lai, will join second singles player Connor Rutten to give the Pumas a strong shot at the doubles title.

Likewise, the Cardinal Newman one and two singles players – Nick McGregor and Alex Hurst – will also be tough to beat.

Other doubles teams that also will be strong include: Aloysious Lai-Garrett Deguchi, Maria Carrillo; Henry Trione-Tim McCullough, Cardinal Newman; and Max Garshman-Brian Chere, Santa Rosa.

“The top players are always pretty tough,” Greco said.