ARCADIA — Coming into the season, the Burroughs High boys' tennis team was the odds-on favorite to win the Pacific League championship.
Led by two-time All-Area Singles Player of the Year and league singles champion Garrett Auproux, coupled with the fact that defending champion Arcadia lost some key players to graduation, many in league predated the Indians would roll to a title.
However, that feat became more difficult when Auproux was lost for the season three weeks ago after breaking his leg during a junior tournament.
Without Auproux, Burroughs took on the host Apaches on Tuesday in a Pacific League match. The contest was tied in the third round before the Indians won the final four sets to clinch an 11-7 victory.
The win puts the Indians (7-0, 7-0 in league) alone in first place in league, one game ahead of Arcadia (10-2, 6-1).
With Auproux out of action, many of the Indians said they had to step up and keep their team's chances of winning a title intact.
"We have a lot of good players on this team, but we came into today a little nervous not having Garrett," No. 1 singles player Calvin Fox said. "When he broke his leg, it kind of made us all feel a little uneasy. But we still felt we had enough talent to win league."
Said No. 3 singles player Michael Whelan: "It was a big shock to us when we found out about Garrett. It's just crazy to think about that kind of injury happening in tennis. It was pretty unexpected."
The Indians experienced some changes of momentum during Tuesday's contest. Things looked good for Burroughs in the opening round, as it took a 4-2 advantage. However, Arcadia came fighting back and tied the score at 6 after the second of three rounds.
Things remained tight when the squads were knotted at 7 in the early third round. But the Indians stepped up and won the final four sets to secure the victory.
Singles was Burroughs' strong point against the Apaches, as it captured eight of nine sets.
While Fox won, 7-5, 6-3, 6-1, No. 2 Sawyer Patterson swept, 6-1, 6-1, 6-1, and Whelan went, 1-6, 6-1, 6-1.
The only wins picked up in doubles was from the Indians' No. 1 duo of Kevin Hoang and Wen Yao Lin, which swept, 6-1, 6-2, 6-2.
Burroughs won't have much time to contemplate the win against Arcadia because the teams will square off again April 23 at Burroughs.
"Because our spring breaks were different, we have to play them again that soon," Burroughs Coach Roy Bernhardt said.