It goes into the books as Sagemont’s third Class 1A boys’ tennis championship in the past five years. And 10 years from now, few will remember the specifics of the title.
But forgive the Lions if their return to Weston late Tuesday felt somewhat like a loss.
Sagemont wound up sharing the crown with Bradenton’s St. Stephen’s Episcopal, going right to the wire but unable to generate the essential point that would have allowed them to claim the title outright.
The Lions’ No.1 doubles team of Austin Debruyne and Chris Tasker stood one game from winning its bracket before going to a second-set tiebreaker against Pensacola Catholic. The Crusaders won the tiebreaker 7-5, then took the third set 6-3.
“It’s never good to end a championship on a loss,” Lions coach Steven Browne said.
Sagemont and St. Stephen’s each finished with 13 points, as each finished with two singles crowns. The Lions’ Andres Hernandez won the No. 4 singles, needing three sets to beat Patrick Visan of Ransom Everglades, and Luis Marcano won the No. 5 singles.
The Lions, though, had chances for two more. Tasker succumbed in three sets in the No. 2 final and Alejandro Quiros lost at No. 3 — both to St. Stephen’s opponents. The Falcons, in fact, beat Sagemont in all four head-to-head matches Tuesday.
“They did what they needed to do,” Browne said. “They won four matches from us – that’s what it comes down to.”
The girls of TERRA Institute, meantime, had nothing but smiles after finishing as the Class 3A runners-up in their first state appearance. It was the environmental science school’s first trophy in any sport.
The Wolves’ 12 points finished just two behind champion Lakewood Ranch of Bradenton. In addition, the duo of Sophia Adams and Michelle Adan-Pol won the No.1 doubles title and will play for the overall doubles crown Wednesday.
“That little magnet school,” coach Monica Mejia said. “When we came in, everybody was going, ‘TERRA who? What school is this? What is TERRA?’ … Now look at my girls – be silly, grab that trophy. I love it.”
After losing in their singles finals, Adams and Adan-Pol survived a roller-coaster doubles semifinal against Jensen Beach that wound up in a 6-1, 2-6, 6-4 triumph. The duo actually fell behind 4-1 in the third set before sweeping the final five games.
“They would have never forgiven themselves for losing that [set],” Mejia said. “The resilience of those two children amazes me.”
The Wolves had another champion in Nicole Cinquino, who won the No. 5 singles bracket.
“This is something that we’re all going to treasure,” Mejia said. “We showed up and nobody expected anything of us. The way my girls have carried themselves, I’m just proud.”
Ransom Everglades finished second in the Class 1A girls’ standings, though they could do nothing to derail American Heritage Delray’s march to a perfect 21-point score. It was Heritage’s fourth crown in the past seven years, with Ransom winning twice.
“We came up here trying to repeat, and met a team that was better than us,” said Raiders coach Peter Lehmann, who watched his girls lose five head-to-head meetings against the Stallions on Tuesday.
No. 2 singles Heather Boehm and No. 5 Sophie Bullard came closest, each taking their opponents to three sets before succumbing.
Ransom’s boys, meanwhile, placed fifth in their competition. Mourning High tied for fifth in the Class 3A boys, also unable to add to their five-point total on the second day.
“It’s an improvement from last year [one point], so that’s positive,” Sharks coach Todd Rubenstein said. “Obviously, we would have liked to have done better, but now we know what we need to do for next year.”
CLASS 1A TEAM SCORES
Boys: *Sagemont 13 points, *Bradenton St. Stephen’s 13, Pensacola Catholic 8, Daytona Beach Father Lopez 6, Ransom Everglades 5, Palm Beach Gardens Benjamin 2, Gainesville Oak Hill 1, Berkeley Prep 1. * co-champions
Girls: American Heritage Delray 21 points, Ransom Everglades 11, Tampa Carrollwood Day 6, Maclay 3, Windermere Prep 3, Bradenton St. Stephen’s 2, West Palm Beach Oxbridge Academy 2, Episcopal (Jacksonville) 1.
CLASS 3A TEAM SCORES
Boys: (Play suspended with one match pending) — Wesley Chapel Wiregrass Ranch 16 points, Tallahassee Leon 8, Naples Gulf Coast 7, Jensen Beach 7, Mourning 5, St. Johns Bartram Trail 5, Tampa King 0, Ocala Vanguard 0.
Girls: Bradenton Lakewood Ranch 14, TERRA Institute 12, Gainesville 8, Naples Barron Collier 7, Niceville 6, Jensen Beach 2, Lakeland 0, Lecanto 0.