ARCADIA — Shortly after Garrett Auproux stepped onto the court Thursday in a semifinal match of the Pacific League boys’ tennis tournament, it was apparent that the Burroughs High player was on his way to a second straight championship.
However, the situation in doubles was not so clear-cut. Although seeded No. 1, the Indians duo of Phillip Lam and Kevin Hoang dropped its first set in the championship match and the prospect of winning a title looked dim.
Despite their early woes, Lam and Hoang mounted a torrid comeback against the No. 2 Arcadia duo of Travis Tu and Andrew You. The Burroughs tandem won the second set in a tiebreaker and also won a super-tiebreaker to earn the title with a 3-6, 7-6(7-4), 10-7 showing.
Auproux made it a Burroughs sweep, disposing of teammate Calvin Fox, 6-1, 6-1, to capture the singles crown.
During the championship doubles match, Hoang said he was just trying to keep his composure and not get overly excited. He also said that after being down, 5-0, in the first set, battling back to win three games was something that gave the Indians confidence.
“Phillip was the one who was keeping me calm,” said Hoang, a junior. “I was getting nervous out there. But at the end of that first set when we were able to get those games, that was big. After that we figured that we could have a chance. I just wanted to win it for him because he’s a senior.”
Said Lam: “After the point where we were down 5-0, we really started playing better. We were making our shots and we were making the saves. We tried to place the ball more and we tried to return as strongly as we could.”
Lam and Hoang earned a spot in the championship by disposing of a pesky Burbank squad in the semifinals. The Indians were able to earn a 7-6(7-4), 6-3 victory against Bulldogs juniors Keon Park and Clayton Pauff, who were seeded fifth. It was the second straight season the Burbank pair advanced to the semifinals.
The No. 3 Burroughs doubles team of junior Wen Yao Lin and freshman Sawyer Patterson defeated Park and Pauff, 8-5, to capture third place.
In their semifinal match, Lin and Patterson were defeated by Tu and You, 6-4, 6-0.
Auproux was able to notch is second consecutive crown with two workmanlike efforts.
In his semifinal, Auproux, the reigning All-Area Boys’ Tennis Player of the Year, made quick work of No. 4 Emile Ohanyan of Hoover, a sophomore, 6-1, 6-1. He then defeated Fox, a sophomore who was seeded third, in the title contest.
“It’s a little awkward playing in the championship against a teammate,” Auproux said. “But we were joking around a little and that made it kind of nice. But he played really well and I congratulate him because this is his first time in the CIF tournament.”
Fox won his semifinal match against No. 2 Albert Chen of Arcadia, 4-6, 6-1, 10-7.
Auproux, Fox and the team of Lam and Hoang will take part in the Division II CIF Southern Section Individual Tournament May 11 at Whittier Narrows Tennis Center in El Monte.
“It’s great that three of my teammates made it to CIF,” said Auproux, who is making his third appearance in the individual competition. “When I was a freshman it was just me going. Then last year we also had a doubles team that went. Now to have two singles players and a doubles team going is great.”