It is still early in the spring tournament season, but locals already are making big waves.
At the monstrous 47-team Pasadena Independent School District Franklin-Kramer Spring Varsity Tennis Tournament, Clear Falls’ Reed Collier easily defended his boys “A” singles Franklin Division title.
At the same time, Knights teammates David Castillo and Grayson Van Pelt were finishing second in the Franklin boys’ “B” doubles.
District 24-6A colleagues Clear Springs and Friendswood also came away with winning medals, each garnering second-place finishes in the 24-school Kramer Division.
The Chargers did so in both the boys “A” singles and girls “A” doubles, while the Mustangs likewise were placing second in the boys “B” doubles with the team of Frank Lu and Isa Siddiqi.
“Overall, the team is playing well,” Clear Falls head coach Keller Akin said. “But we are struggling with third-set tiebreakers, losing way more than we are winning.
“So we’ve been working on improving serves and returns and finishing points when given the opportunity.”
Collier, the defending 24-6A boys singles champion, was dominant throughout the tournament, giving up just five games in four rounds, including a 6-4, 6-0 finals victory over No. 3-seeded Houston Westside.
Collier, seeded No. 1, first drew a bye before beating Deer Park No. 2 in the quarterfinals and Houston Lamar in the semifinals, 6-0, 6-1.
As for Castillo and Van Pelt, they were also straight-set victors in their first three matchups before losing to No. 1-seeded Clear Lake in the final, 6-3, 6-3.
Castillo and Van Pelt, seeded No. 3, defeated La Porte, 6-4, 6-4, and Baytown Sterling in the quarterfinals, 7-5, 6-4, before upsetting No. 2-seeded Humble Kingwood in the semifinals, 6-1, 6-0.
Over in the Kramer Division, Clear Springs’ Nasir Abbasi was a surprise “A” singles finalist, beating Manvel (6-2, 6-2), Pasadena Dobie No. 2 (6-2, 6-4) and Katy (6-2, 6-4) in order before losing to Clear Brook’s No. 1-seeded Jackson Norfolk in the championship match, 6-3, 6-3.
“Nasir’s our No. 1 boy and has been playing doubles mostly,” Chargers co-head coach Gregg Parker said. “He played very well all tournament long. He has been working hard all off season. He is always the last to leave the courts.”
Just as impressive were Abbasi’s teammates, Megan Chu and Allison Ko, the girls “A” doubles runners-up.
Chu and Ko, seeded No. 3, defeated Fulshear (6-2, 6-3) and Alvin Shadow Creek (6-3, 6-4) in the quarterfinals before upsetting No. 2-seeded Pearland Dawson in the semifinals, 6-1, 6-1.
Later, in the final, Chu and Ko lost to No. 1-seeded Houston Langham Creek 6-3, 6-2.
Meantime, Lu and Siddiqi were dropping a heartbreaking 2-6, 6-1, 11-9 decision to No. 1-seeded Dawson in their respective final after surviving a 5-7, 7-6, 10-4 nail-biter against Katy Tompkins in the semifinals.
Earlier, Lu and Siddiqi beat Katy Morton Ranch in the first round, 6-2, 7-5, then upset No. 3-seeded Dobie in the quarterfinals, 6-2, 6-2.
It was another lofty performance by a Mustangs’ doubles team in tournament play.
Just the week before, Friendswood’s Quinn Radtke and Ethan Bui were making their first of back-to-back finals appearances, winning the Humble ISD “A” mixed doubles championship with a 6-2, 7-6 finals victory over Cypress Falls’ Polina and Oleg Radchenko.
Radtke and Bui were also finalists at last weekend’s Battle of the Bay Tournament in Corpus Christi.
“Quinn and Ethan are evolving into a very strong pair together,” Mustangs head coach David Cook said. “They both have very strong work ethics and are really off to a tremendous start.
“I expect lots of teams to put their best players together in mixed doubles, and I think we are ready for that challenge.”