When Dave Bain and John Bowerbank meet on the tennis court, they aren't two strangers exchanging passing shots.
Bain, of Corona del Mar, and University's Bowerbank renewed their long-standing friendship and on-court rivalry in the Sea View League singles final Thursday at the Balboa Bay Racquet Club.
In a match that featured no gimmicks from two of Orange County's top prep players, Bain defeated Bowerbank, 6-7, 6-2, 6-4, to win the championship. Both qualified for the Southern Section Individuals May 29-30.
"We've played each other about a thousand times, so it's just a matter of who's playing better that day," Bain said. "There's no way we're going to fool each other, so we just go out and play our games."
Bowerbank, who relies on a strong all-court game and intensity, rallied from a 5-2 first set deficit to win the set in a tiebreaker.
"I felt awesome after that," he said. "Then I disappeared in the second set."
Bain's fluid passing shots and good serve placement had something to do with Bowerbank's second-set lull. Bain, who is headed for UCLA in the fall, recovered from his first-set collapse with a patient attack that countered Bowerbank's come-to-the-net strategy.
In the final set, Bain rallied from down a break and trailing, 2-1, to win three straight games for a 4-2 lead. The third set had seven service breaks, including the last five games.
Corona del Mar's Trenton Rhodes and Brian Walden won their second league doubles title in a row with a 6-4, 6-0 victory over University's Bryan Shapiro and Robbie Wilkins.