NEWTON — There was very little St. John’s Prep and B.C. High didn’t already know about each other, having split two matches during the regular season. The two Catholic Conference rivals met in the state semifinals at Newton South and although every match was close B.C. High was a 3-0 winner in a match that ended early when rain made the courts too wet to safely continue.
“We made the moves we had to make, but they got a few breaks,” said Prep coach Mark Metropolis, who has won the conference 23 of the 24 years he has been at the helm.
St. John’s beat B.C. High the first time they met back in April, but later that same month found themselves on the losing end, 4-1. Before the rubber match Metropolis made some changes, moving his third singles player Niko Limacher to first doubles with Ian Wright. He put Wright’s usual partner Sean Noak in the third singles slot.
The Eagles also had to change the second doubles team because captain Jonathan Shaffer twisted his ankle last weekend and was in a boot. Chase Davis took his place to play with Alec McNiff.
“When we beat them we won third singles and both doubles, but in the second meeting our only win came in second singles,” said Metropolis. “It’s like a chess match; we had to do something different to mix it up. Their coach moved his third singles to first doubles when they beat us.
“They are a young team, but they have some very good players. We had never lost to B.C. in all the time I’ve been coaching until this year.”
It has been a remarkable season for the Eagles from Dorchester. B.C. High, the South’s No. 4 seed, beat Newton South, 4-1, before taking on North champ St. John’s, which blanked Westford Academy 5-0. It is the first time B.C. High has ever gone to the state championship (today at Clark University against St. John’s of Shrewsbury).