The Prairie School boys tennis team kept its winning tradition going in the Metro Classic Conference Tournament Saturday.
The Hawks won the tournament for the sixth straight year, reaching the championship match in all seven flights and winning five titles to score 38 points.
Kenosha St. Joseph finished second with 22 and Greendale Martin Luther was third with 18 in the six-team tournament at Prairie and the Racine Tennis Club. St. Catherine’s was sixth (6).
The highlight matches of the tournament came in the championships at No. 2 and 3 doubles, both of which featured extended supertiebreakers against St. Joseph.
Anthony Babu and Wesley Eaton of Prairie split the first two sets with the Lancers’ Justin Hill and Carson Pond in the No. 2 title match. In the supertiebreaker, the St. Joseph duo had match point at 9-6, but the Hawks fought back to tie it up and went on to win the match 5-7, 6-3, 13-11.
At No. 3 doubles, Prairie’s Ryan Anderson and Sebastian Best battled in the supertiebreaker against the Lancers’ John Laken and Eathan Harron before the Hawks won 6-4, 6-7 (6), 13-11.
At No. 1 doubles, Dino Tousis and Lucas Goelz put up a fight against John McTernan and Nick Harron of St. Joseph, who were seeded seventh in Division 2 at the WIAA State Individual Tournament last year. After losing the first set, the Hawks were leading the second set 4-1, but the Lancers rallied to win 6-2, 7-6 (5).
“They’re a quality team,” Prairie coach Nich Schafer said of the Lancers. “This is the closest (Prairie) has been against them.”
In singles, the Bajaj brothers, junior Pranav and freshman Kethan, lost just one game combined in their championship matches.
At No. 2 singles, Pranav Bajaj lost just five games on the day, beating Sam French of St. Catherine’s 6-0, 6-1 in the title match.
Kethan Bajaj, who normally plays at No. 2 doubles, was moved to No. 4 singles and proved his mettle, beating No. 1 seed Jacob Blaszczyk of Milwaukee Saint Thomas More 6-0, 6-0 in the title match.
At No. 3 singles, Nick Ruffo beat Alex Kopitske of Martin Luther 6-3, 7-5.
Peter Lamberton, who moved to No. 1 singles this year after finishing third at state in doubles with the graduated Jacob Ruud, had a tough challenge against George Wong of Whitefish Bay Dominican, who finished fourth in Division 2 singles at state last year.
Lamberton played “two of the best games he’s ever played,” Schafer said, to take a 5-4 lead in the first set. Lamberton was serving on match point, but had some unforced errors and Wong won the next three games to close out the set. Wong won the match 7-5, 6-1.
“That’s where he’s still learning,” Schafer said. “He had momentum and confidence, but went in too hard in his service game.”
French beat Idris Bandani of Dominican 4-6, 6-4, 10-3 in the No. 2 singles semifinals. Ethan Woitach was fourth at No. 1 singles, losing to Josh Klement of Martin Luther 6-4, 7-5.