Raleigh Charter sweeps singles, doubles in 1-A men's regional
By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on May 14, 2006 2:16 AM
The Phoenix rises.
Raleigh Charter swept the N.C. High School Athletic Association Class 1-A eastern regional singles and doubles championships in dominating fashion on a breezy and sun-splashed Saturday afternoon at Herman Park.
Freshman Jas Schmitt dealt Spring Creek senior Cliff Wilson, the 2005 regional runner-up, a 6-0, 6-0 defeat. Teammates Grant Ligon-Mark Hemphill, the top seed in the doubles draw, needed less than 40 minutes to shut down Williamston's Trent Caldwell-Scott Kimball 6-0, 6-0.
Regional director Robert Jones couldn't remember the last time two championship matches resulted in shutouts.
"Jas had everything," said Jones. "Even on Cliff's best day, it probably would have taken his best effort to compete with him. Cliff has nothing to hang his head about."
Schmitt won all 12 service-break games -- a span of four matches -- in opening-set play and dropped just two games overall during the two-day affair on the John Allen Farfour Courts. He hit 17 winners and committed 12 unforced errors during the title match against Wilson, who endured his first loss in 21 outings this season.
Ligon-Hemphill experienced similar success in the doubles draw. The duo lost just nine games in four straight-set victories and climbed to 14-6 overall.
"This has been the peak of their season," said third-year Phoenix coach Rod Realon said of his champions. "They have been building the last two weeks and they absolutely executed perfectly all of their stuff (this weekend).
"This is truly the best they have played."
Wilson claimed a pair of straight-set victories Friday, but struggled in his semifinal-round match Saturday morning against Topsai's Mark Luhring. A four-time regional finalist -- twice each in doubles and singles -- Wilson forced ties at 5-5 and 6-6 in the opening set.
Wilson dominated the tiebreaker 7-1 and seemed to find his rhythm. He bolted ahead 4-1 in the second set and took advantage of Luhring's inconsistent serving and unforced errors. Luhring pulled within 5-4 before Wilson closed out the match 7-6 (1), 6-4.
Schmitt reached the finals with a 6-0, 6-1 victory against Williamston's Fielding Elliott, the third seed. He waited for nearly two hours as Wilson labored through his match against Luhring, the fourth seed.
"Cliff had a tough match and Jas' matches were much easier in terms of duration," said Realon. "I think Cliff's legs were kind of gone and with Jas' consistency, he just took control."
Schmitt is ranked No. 33 in the North Carolina USTA Boys 16 group.
The four finalists qualified for next week's NCHSAA 1-A Championships at the Cary Tennis Center. Joining them are Luhring and Fielding Elliott (Williamston) in singles, and the doubles of Ty Johnson-Daniel Ellis (Rosewood) and Chris San Miguel-Josh Grant (Topsail).
Johnson-Ellis opened regional play with a 7-6 (5), 6-2 upset of third-seeded Josh Cooper-Chris Johnson from North Johnston. It was a rematch of last week's Carolina Conference final won by Cooper-Johnson.
The Eagle duo eliminated the Gators' tandem of Jonathan Sutton-Frederick Ellis 6-3, 6-1 in the quarterfinals. They fought off three match points before falling to Caldwell-Kimball 6-3, 0-6, 6-4 in semifinal-round play.
2006 N.C. High School
Athletic Association Class 1-A
(at Herman Park)
First round: Wilson (S. Creek) d. Dendy (A.-Grifton) 6-0, 6-1; Parker (Gates Co.) d. Mills (Williamston) 6-1, 6-3; Fail (Rosewood) d. Strickland (W. Columbus) 6-1, 6-1; Luhring (Topsail) d. Peedin (N. Johnson) 6-1, 6-2; Elliott (W) d. Umphlett (GC) 6-1, 6-0; McLamb (NJ) d. Dickens (SE Halifax) 6-0, 6-2; Stalls (Bear Grass) d. Kingery (E. Carteret) 6-3, 6-2; Schmitt (Raleigh Charter) d. Smith (SC) 6-0, 6-1.
Quarterfinals: Wilson (SC) d. Parker (GC) 6-0, 6-4; Luhring (T) d. Fail (RHS) 6-1, 6-0; Elliott (W) d. McLamb (NJ) 6-1, 6-0; Schmitt (RC) d. Stalls 6-0, 6-0.
Semifinals: Wilson (SC) d. Luhring (T) 7-6 (1), 6-4; Schmitt (RC) d. Elliott 6-0, 6-1.
Finals: Schmitt (RC) d. Wilson (SC) 6-0, 6-0.
First round: Ligon-Hemphill (RC) d. Harrell-Oliver (W) 6-4, 6-0; Smith-Ryan (GC) d. Haislip-Womble (BG) 2-6, 6-4, 7-6 (4); Littleton-Barnes (NJ) d. Potts-Correll (SC) 6-0, 6-1; San Miguel-Grant (T) d. Kriger-Cummins (RHS) 6-0, 6-1; Johnson-Ellis (RHS) d. Cooper-Johnson (NJ) 7-6 (5), 6-2; Sutton-Ellis (SC) d. Williams-Hawkins (SEH) 6-0, 6-0; Moeller-Ather (T) d. Clark-Boone (GC) 6-3, 6-1; Caldwell-Kimble (W) d. Huggins-Warren (E. Bladen) 6-, 6-4.
Quarterfinals: Ligon-Hemphill (RC) d. Smith-Ryan (GC) 6-0, 6-2; San Miguel-Grant (T) d. Littleton-Barnes (NJ) 6-2, 6-0; Johnson-Ellis (RHS) d. Sutton-Ellis 6-3, 6-1; Caldwell-Kimble (W) d. Moeller-Ather (T) 7-5, 6-1.
Semifinals: Ligon-Hemphill (RC) d. San Miguel-Grant 6-1, 6-2; Caldwell-Kimble (W) d. Johnson-Ellis (RHS) 6-3, 0-6, 6-4.
Finals: Ligon-Hemphill (RC) d. Caldwell-Kimble (W) 6-0, 6-0.
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