04/28/10 — Eagles, Chargers share league tournament crown

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Eagles, Chargers share league tournament crown

By Rudy Coggins
Published in Sports on April 28, 2010 1:46 PM

Tied. Again.

One week after sharing the Carolina 1-A Conference regular-season men's tennis title, Rosewood and Ayden-Grifton couldn't decide the outright tournament champion Tuesday afternoon.

Each team compiled 10 points, despite the Chargers claiming both the individual singles and doubles crowns.

"It was pretty much like I anticipated," said Rosewood head coach Bert Perkins. "We knew it was going to be tight coming in."

The deadlock prevented the co-champions from deciding the No. 1 seed for the N.C. High School Athletic Association dual-team playoffs. However, Perkins said the Ayden-Grifton coach elected to take the No. 2 seed and travel to No. 1-ranked N.C. School of Science and Math next Tuesday.

The Eagles (10-1 overall) will entertain Raleigh Charter.

"I guess his kids wanted to travel," said Perkins.

Goldsboro High (2-4) grabbed the league's No. 3 berth for the expanded dual-team playoffs and will travel in the opening round. The Cougars are making their first postseason appearance since 1994 and just the second overall in program history.

Rosewood qualified six players for the NCHSAA Eastern Regionals, scheduled May 7-8 at Herman Park. Cole Radcliff and Matt Binda will compete in singles, while the tandems of Antonio Henriques-Travis Cuddington and Zach Behrend-Daniel Elowar will battle in doubles.

"We'll see how well we can do in the regionals," said Perkins.

The Eagles certainly did well on a breezy, partly-sunny afternoon as conference play concluded.

Radcliff, the No. 2 seed, didn't drop a game in his first two matches and fell to Ayden-Grifton's Eric Sjoerdsma 6-2, 6-2 in the title match. Sjoerdsma rallied for a 3-6, 6-4, 6-2 victory over Binda in semifinal-round play after posting a straight-set shutout in the quarterfinals.

"The match between Binda and Sjoerdsma was a little bit of a surprise that it went into three sets," said Perkins. "If he could have pulled off the upset, that would have given us the points we needed (to win the title).

"That was a bright spot today."

Behrend-Elowar finished third overall in doubles with a 6-3, 6-4 decision over the Chargers' Robert Mewborn-Zack Bailey. Meanwhile, Henriques-Cuddington drew an opening-round bye and eventually fell to top-seeded Jack Dail-Matt Bergs in the championship match.

"Behrend-Elowar winning third place was big for us," said Perkins. "They're consistent and they play well together. They get along good and I think they play hard for one another, which is one of the main things they have going for them.

"They didn't give easy points away, but made the other team earn what they got."

Goldsboro's Charles Robinson and Bernard Green endured opening-round losses in singles. Teammates Nathan Wright, Chuck Stanley, Ed Herrera and Taylor Ingram dropped quarterfinal matches in doubles.

Spring Creek's Daniel Krentz and Kent Jernigan each lost in singles.