Warriors Tennis: Westbrooks finish 2nd

Robert Husseman, The Triplicate

Del Norte doubles teams win 4 matches

Two strong performances gave Del Norte High tennis players Blair Westbrook and Alec Westbrook White Star honors at the Humboldt-Del Norte League Doubles Championships, held Friday afternoon at Del Norte High School.

Only the league championship eluded their grasp.

Max Bass and Josh Hancock of Eureka High defeated the Westbrook brothers, 6-2, 6-1, to claim the No. 1 doubles title Friday. After losing the first two games, Bass and Hancock won 10 straight to build a commanding lead in the match.

Blair Westbrook, a senior participating in his last match as a Warrior, called making the finals "the goal throughout the season."

"I was very happy with the way we played," he said. "That was a lot of tennis. We got out for our third (match of the day) and, quite frankly, we were a little worn out. They're a very good team."

"I'm glad that Blair got a White Star," said Alec Westbrook, a sophomore.

Sam Yang and Fleming Cen of St. Bernard's Catholic High kept it close in the first round before the Westbrooks pulled away with a 7-6 (6), 6-4 victory. To make the finals, the Westbrooks survived a three-set challenge from Fortuna High's John Gearhart and Jack Roval, 7-5, 1-6, 6-2.

Seniors Doug Ovick and Daniel Quick, the Warriors' No. 2 doubles team, defeated McKinleyville High's William Whitehead and Josh Sandige, 6-1, 6-4, in their first round match.

In the next round, however, Fortuna's Kyle Francis and Austin Thomsen defeated Ovick and Quick in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4.

"I thought they played really well," Warriors head coach Sara Sampels said. "When they were up in the first set (in the semifinals), they relaxed a little bit too much. It broke their momentum."

Francis and Thomsen lost the No. 2 doubles final to Arcata's Joseph Esparza and Nash Karp.

The Warriors cobbled together a No. 3 doubles team out of freshman Cameron Douglas and junior Strand Hill, who had never played together before Friday, after forfeiting the No. 6 position in the HDN League Singles Championships on April 13.

Douglas and Hill jumped on their first opponents, North Coast Prep's Jake Palmer and Finn Scott-Neff, early en route to a 6-3, 6-1 victory. The pair saw their season come to an end with a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 loss to Fortuna's Curtis Hohman and Joseph Caminiti.

"It's hard to jump out on the court and play (in the league's) doubles finals," Sampels said. "I commend them. They supported each other really well.

"Cameron worked really hard this season. I'm glad he was able to play (doubles)."

Eureka's own team of brothers, Calder and Bryce Hutchins, captured the No. 3 doubles title.

Reach Robert Husseman at rhusseman@triplicate.com .

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The Del Norte Triplicate
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