Tigers boys’ tennis ties Omak for district title

Tonasket senior Karl Bharucha (left) stays ready for his Okanogan opponents to send the ball back his way after his teammate, senior Damon Sprague, sent it flying over the net. Bharucha and Sprague won the match 6-1, 6-3 but lost in the finals match to th

Tonasket senior Karl Bharucha (left) stays ready for his Okanogan opponents to send the ball back his way after his teammate, senior Damon Sprague, sent it flying over the net. Bharucha and Sprague won the match 6-1, 6-3 but lost in the finals match to th

OMAK – At the conclusion of the district finals tennis tournament in Omak on Saturday, May 22, the Tonasket boys’ tennis team tied the Omak boys’ team for the district title while two Tigers also qualified for the state meet in Yakima this weekend.

Juniors Brett Hendrick and Lee Leavell will be traveling to Yakima for state after finishing the district tournament in first and third, respectively.

Hendrick began the tournament with a victory over Chelan’s Mat Engstrom 6-4, 6-4 and then defeated Omak’s Tyler Hendrick 6-0, 6-3 to become the district champion.

“Hendrick came out and really dominated,” Allen Godwin, co-head coach, said. “I think that will help his confidence going into state.”

Leavell began the tournament with a three-set loss to T. Hendrick 2-6, 6-2, 4-6. He then defeated Omak’s Kyle Allen 6-0, 6-0 and finished with a victory over Engstrom 6-4, 6-2 for third place in the district.

“Leavell played a really strong match against T. Hendrick,” Godwin said. “I was proud of him, he didn’t give up and I think a match like that will help him at state.”

Also playing in the district finals was the Tiger number one doubles team, seniors Karl Bharucha and Damon Sprague. They beat the Okanogan doubles team 6-1, 6-3 but lost to the Liberty Bell team 4-6, 4-6.

“Bharucha and Sprague beat Okanogan and then came up short against Liberty Bell, but they had an opportunity to play for a chance to go to state, which means they were successful,” Godwin said. “It was a match that could’ve gone either way, so that’s just kind of the way it goes. They’ve been good teammates this year and I’m sorry to see them go.”

Godwin said he believes B. Hendrick and Leavell have all the ability and all the skill to do very well at state.

“When kids get to this level of play, it really depends on who’s having a better day,” he said. “The goal all season has been for those two to do better at state this year than they did last year.”

B. Hendrick finished in sixth place at state last year while Leavell, who participated at state, did not place. Godwin said he, co-head coach Tara Deebach and assistant coach Anitra Atchison have all been working all season to help the boys improve and that they both have made definite improvements.

The state tournament begins on Friday, May 28 at the Yakima Tennis Center and continues into Saturday, May 29.

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