05/10/11 — Warriors' Fitzpatrick defends title

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Warriors' Fitzpatrick defends title

By Staff Reports
Published in Sports on May 10, 2011 1:47 PM

WILSON -- East champ ... again.

Eastern Wayne sophomore Chaz Fitzpatrick, fully recovered from an early-season elbow injury, successfully defended his N.C. High School Athletic Association east 3-A regional singles crown Monday afternoon.

Fitzpatrick (15-1 overall) upended Wilson Fike's Nick James 6-2, 5-7, 6-1 and earned the East's top seed for this week's state championships in Burlington.

"Chaz played well ...patient to finish the match," said Eastern Wayne head coach Craig Hassell.

Fitzpatrick lost just one game in his first two matches, and claimed a semifinal-round win over West Carteret's Joonas Ilva, who retired in the third set due to cramping.

In the title tilt, Fitzpatrick seemed poised for a straight-set win over James, but squandered a 4-1 second-set advantage. He regained his focus and became the first-ever, back-to-back regional champ in Eastern Carolina 3-A Conference play during Hassell's tenure as head coach.