Area players perform well at 1-A regional
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 15, 2005 2:02 AM
Despite losses in Saturday afternoon's eastern regional men's tennis finals, fourth-year Spring Creek coach Robert Jones couldn't have been more pleased with his players' efforts.
Neither Cliff Wilson nor the doubles of James Potts-Ricky Galloway folded when they faced critical points. Each player battled through uncharacteristic mistakes and nearly staged some historical moments for the Class 1-A Carolina Conference school.
But their opponents had other ideas.
Victor Cadilla, from Durham School of the Arts, wasted three match points before handing Wilson a 6-2, 6-4 loss in the singles championship. Farmville Central's tandem of Ben Adams-James Newsome, the No. 1 seed, escaped with a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (3) decision against Potts-Galloway.
All six players return to action next Friday in the N.C. High School Athletic Association Individual Championships at the Cary Tennis Center. First-round play begins at 10 a.m.
"I was pleased that they both made the regional final and that's a lot to be said," Jones lamented. "I was proud of all three of their efforts. They played well ... a couple of points here and there could have made a big difference."
Cadilla, the No. 2 seed, denied the top-seeded Wilson an opportunity to become the Gators' first-ever men's regional singles champ. He played a strong serve and volley game throughout the match and didn't allow Wilson to find any rhythm.
Cadilla (9-2) lost the opening game of the first set. Although he made numerous unforced errors in breezy playing conditions, Cadilla managed to play consistent on the big points to prevent Wilson from winning games on serve. He turned the 1-0 deficit into a 5-1 advantage.
"That boy just got on him early with deep heavy balls that he was hitting," Jones said. "He definitely played better than he did against Wesley (Lovelady) in the first match.
"He was getting in a lot of first serves and that was a big difference in the match. Early on, he was clicking on all cylinders and Cliff was a little sluggish right from the start."
Cadilla, again, dropped the first game to start the second. He rattled off five straight wins before Wilson pulled within 5-4. Wilson had a chance to tie the set at 5-all, but mishit a return to keep Cadilla in line for his first-ever regional title.
Wilson (21-3) thwarted three match points before Cadilla smashed a match-clinching, short volley at the net.
"He did a good job coming back," said Jones.
Wilson received an opening-round bye and advanced to the finals with straight-set victories against Dusty Carter (DSA) and Russell Schmitz (DSA). Cadilla also drew a first-round bye and knocked off John Williams Benning (Louisburg) and Rosewood's Lovelady before meeting Wilson.
Lovelady, the No. 3 seed, stopped Williamston's Fielding Elliott before facing Cadilla. Lovelady (14-8) owned leads of 2-1 and 5-4 in the first set before Cadilla rallied to win the set on a tiebreaker.
Cadilla shut out Lovelady 6-0 in the second set.
"Wesley struck the ball as good as I've seen him (hit) all season," said Rosewood coach Bert Perkins. "He played a very good player and I felt like Wesley had a chance there in the first set. It seemed like after he dropped that tiebreaker, it took the air out
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