URBANA — Needing a miracle to win its third consecutive sectional tennis title, Champaign Central got it, from a pair of injured players. Austin Aten and Ryan Smith delivered.
After Centennial's Sunny Singh won the singles title with a 6-0, 6-3 win against St. Teresa's Patrick Kuhle, the Chargers were atop the standing with 18 team points. Aten, who has been battling back and shoulder injuries, needed to win his third-place match against Decatur Lutheran's Colin Sandgren. Like he had been the whole tournament, Aten served underhanded because of the pain and rallied for a 0-6, 6-3, 6-2 win.
The Maroons also needed Smith, who recently returned to action after tearing a shoulder muscle, and Samuel Wampler to finish third in doubles and the tandem did so, beating Danville's Matthew Kidwell and Yanis Mokraoui 3-6, 6-3, 6-0.
Central and Centennial ended the tournament tied with 18 points, but the Maroons were crowned champions by virtue of having more state qualifiers than Centennial.
"I couldn't be more proud of the effort and determination the kids showed," Central coach Scott Davis said.
Urbana Uni's Alex Mestre and Edo Roth won the doubles title. Danville's Tyler Ellis and Logan Nelson were second.