SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

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June 13, 2013

B.C. High stops St. John's Prep in rain-shortened semifinal

(Continued)

“St. John’s is always a powerful team,” said crimson Eagles coach Lance Hutchinson. “This year we have some new kids and that has made all the difference. I thought this would be very close and a couple matches could have gone either way.

“I felt first doubles would be the crucial one, and when we were able to win that one I knew it was going to be a good day.”

That first doubles team of Charles Morris and Caye Tittmann won, 6-4, 6-4. Chris Toner had a tough first singles match, losing to unbeaten sophomore Charles Shewalter, 6-2, 6-2. Shewalter is ranked 70th in the country and No. 2 in New England in 16U.

“We train together at Manchester Essex Tennis Club, and have for the past six or seven years,” said Toner, who will play at UConn next year. “He got the better of me today.

“ We knew what they were going to do and tried to counter by changing things up. There were some close matches. We didn’t expect to be as good as we were this year. I think we overachieved and accomplished more than we expected.”

Shaffer said he hated not being on the court, but had hoped he’d be ready if his team advanced.

“I was hoping to be back,” he said. “Despite the loss we had a great year and exceeded our coach’s and our own expectations. We all worked very hard.”

Sam Lahart beat Noak, 6-4, 6-2, in third singles as rain began to fall. Both second singles and second doubles were in tie breakers after splitting sets when play was halted. Prep’s Dan Cunningham had taken an early lead, but Jeremy Mendoza fought back. McNiff and Davis were locked in another battle with Justin McGaffigan and Bailey Ward when the tournament officials ruled the courts too wet to continue.

“It’s been an interesting year,” said Metropolis. “This wasn’t our day, but it’s interesting to note that three of the teams in the state semifinals are Xaverian Schools – us, B.C. and St. John’s Shrewsbury. That doesn’t usually happen.”

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