BLOOMINGTON — Holding a one-point lead heading into singles play Saturday at the Big 12 boys’ tennis championship, Centennial coach Don Waybright knew the Chargers had to win a few titles.
Which they did. Centennial had players in all six of the championship matches, and four were able to earn victories. The much-needed wins allowed Centennial to claim the conference championship, compiling 82 points to hold off runner-up Normal Community (74 points) and third-place finisher Champaign Central (66 points).
Andrew Scaggs pulled off a hard-fought victory at No. 4 singles that sealed the title for the Chargers. Scaggs rallied and held on for a 2-6, 6-3, 7-6 win against Justin Buechle of Normal Community.
“Andrew just played incredible,” Waybright said. “He was getting to shots Spider-Man couldn’t get to. It was great to watch.”
Centennial’s Sunny Singh won the top singles title with a 6-7, 6-4, 6-3 win against Central’s Austin Aten.
“Sunny was able to come through,” Waybright said.
So did Max Zheng at No. 2 singles with a 6-1, 5-7, 7-6 victory against Brandon Lam of Normal Community and Peter Kim at No. 3 singles with a 6-2, 6-3 win against Central’s Gabe Mitchell. Patrick Kearney at No. 5 and Daniel O’Brien at No. 6 did their part for Centennial by advancing to the finals before falling.
“We’re definitely pleased with the day as a whole,” Waybright said. “I kept thinking, ‘Well, we should win at one and two singles, but we’ve got three, four and five that are up for grabs.’ We were all elated.”