BURROUGHS HIGH — After weeks of preparation, months of competitive play and countless hours logged on the tennis courts, it came down to 12 athletes competing for just two Pacific League championships.
Eight of the players taking part in the league finals Wednesday were from Burroughs, Burbank and Glendale high, as they were vying for one singles and one doubles title.
While the Indians and Nitros players weren’t able to claim league crowns, the Bulldogs saw one of their own capture a singles title.
Sophomore Arthur Karagezian, the No. 1 seed, defeated No. 2 Trevor Campbell, 6-1, 6-3, to secure the championship at Burroughs High.
It was the first singles title by a Burbank player since 2004, when Haig Kassabian captured the last of three straight championships.
“It’s a great feeling. I’m really happy,” said Karagezian, who ran his season record to 43-0.
Karagezian had problems in the first set against Campbell.
“I hadn’t eaten anything, so I was getting dizzy early on,” he said. “It was hard for me to concentrate. But I told myself that this is the finals, and I have to get over it.”
An apple from Burbank Coach Loi Phan between sets helped quell Karagezian’s problem.
Karagezian was able to advance to the final with a 6-2, 6-3 semifinal win against the Indians’ Robert Henry, the No. 4 seed.
Burbank’s Pete Sangsuriyakul, the No. 3 seed, tried to make it an all-Bulldogs final by pushing Campbell in their semifinal match. However, Campbell was able to bounce back to win, 6-4, 7-5.
Sangsuriyakul was up, 5-2, 40-5, in the second set.
“In that match, I was over-hitting and his serve was on,” Campbell said. “When I was down in the second set, I just told myself to settle down.”
In the doubles final, Glendale’s No. 1-seeded team of Nick Daka and Mike Astorian were looking to avenge a loss in a tie-breaker in last year’s title match.
However, after playing well in the opening set, the Nitros duo struggled the rest of the way and were defeated by third-seeded Bo Winton and Tim Saekoo of Arcadia, 2-6, 6-3, 10-7, in another tie-breaker.
“Tie-breaker is a heartbreaker,” Astorian said.
After disposing of Jay Chung and Andre Yanez, the No. 5 duo from Burroughs, 6-2, 6-2, in the semifinals, the Glendale pair was looking forward to playing in the final.
“We have been waiting for this since we lost last year,” Daka said. “It was really tough for us when we lost it last year.”
The Nitros may find solace in the fact that by making it to the league final, they have qualified for CIF Southern Section individuals. The first- and second-place doubles teams and singles players from the league automatically qualify for the postseason.
After falling in the semifinals, Burroughs’ Chung and Yanez were able to bounce back to finish third, defeating Arcadia’s No. 7-seeded duo of Bryan Young and Roy Yu, 8-4.
“We were kind of getting on each other in that [semifinal] match,” Chung said. “But we were able to come together and play better in that last match.”
Chung and Yanez are members of Burroughs’ league-championship team that will open the Division II playoffs next week at home.
In the third-place singles match, Henry defeated Sangsuriyakul, 8-2.