Cougars’ switch is a winner

Coronado’s boys had a little surprise waiting for Basic on Monday.

After escaping with a narrow 10-8 victory in the teams’ regular-season meeting Sept. 11, Cougars coach Luther Bohanon adjusted his lineup by moving junior Colton Pate from doubles to singles.

The result was three wins by Pate and a third straight Sunrise Region tennis title for Coronado, which defeated the Wolves, 13-5.

“I trust (Pate) at (No. 2) singles because he’s got more experience,” said Bohanon. “I have a lot of young kids, but he just knows how to play. He came through.”

Coronado’s girls won their fifth straight Sunrise title, beating Del Sol, 12-6.

Both teams advanced to the state tournament, which begins Oct. 18.

Pate won two easy sets before outlasting Mike Feher, 6-4 in both players’ third set.

Coupled with No. 1 singles player Brian Kenyon’s three easy wins, the Cougars won six of the nine singles points. In the regular-season meeting, Basic won six singles points.

“I’m comfortable at singles,” said Pate, one of four juniors in the Cougars’ top nine. Kenyon is the only senior. “A lot of our kids our inexperienced, so Brian and I basically have to win because a lot of the younger guys get nervous. We know we have to get ours.”

In doubles, junior Matt Gapultos and sophomore Jordan Fenn went 3-0 as the Cougars took seven of the nine points.

In the girls final, senior Bea Kamoen and freshman Maja Banas went 3-0 in doubles, winning two marathon sets to set the tone for the Cougars.

Kamoen and Banas won a tiebreaker in their first set, which took more than an hour, came back for a long 6-4 win, then breezed to a 6-0 victory.

“They know how to come through,” Coronado girls coach Bob Clements said.

Freshman Chrissy Uriarte, senior Gabriella Jannotta and junior Paige Johaniessen each went 2-1 in singles for Coronado, which lost in the state final last year. The Cougars’ six singles wins were all 6-0.

Del Sol will face Palo Verde on Oct. 15 in a play-in match to decide a berth in the girls state tournament.

Basic’s boys will meet Bonanza on Oct. 15 to decide the last berth in the boys tourney.

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