Rebels top-heavy in nonleague loss to Burbank

NORTHEAST GLENDALE — When it came to the No.1 singles and doubles brackets, the Flintridge Prep boys' tennis team had a significant advantage over Burbank in a nonleague home match Wednesday.

But, although the athletes at the top of the Rebels' lineup proved to be unbeatable, they could only provide a maximum of six sets toward the team's overall goal. The Bulldogs' depth proved to be an immovable obstacle to that goal, as Prep failed to win a set in the No. 2 and No. 3 brackets and fell, 12-6, at Scholl Canyon Tennis Center.

"They were more balanced, I thought, in the 2 and 3," said Rebels Coach Ron Catano, whose team fell to 2-6 on the season with Prep League play set to begin Friday against archrival Pasadena Poly. "Our guys just are having a hard time figuring out how to put a string of games together so they can pull out the win. They'll play well halfway through the match and then just kind of lose their consistency and they just don't know how to pull it out.

"It's not from a lack of ability, they just need to mature through that and figure it out. That's what we're working on."

Burbank (5-3) got two wins apiece in singles from Clayton Pauff (6-2, 6-0), James Hong (6-3, 6-3) and Kevin Lee (6-0, 6-2). In doubles, the Bulldogs' No. 2 tandem of Tajh Bellow and Jonathan Lee won two sets, including a 7-6 win over Rebels No. 2 David Chou and William Dixon in the first round that swung momentum in Burbank's favor.

"They've been great for us," Burbank Coach Loi Phan said of Bellow and Lee. "That was a huge set in the first round. Instead of it being 3-3, we went up, 4-2, so that was very nice on them, they battled."

Prep was led in singles by Alex Wood, who posted wins of 6-2, 6-2, 6-3. Likewise, the team of Kent Byun and Eric Kazangian pulled off a sweep in doubles, 6-4, 6-1, 6-1.

"Our guys played well today, I saw [Prep's] No. 1 doubles together, so I knew we were not going to beat them," said Phan, who also got doubles wins from Kevin Bañares and Kenneth Bañares (6-2, 6-1) and Kevin Park and Arthur Kubco (6-2, 6-0). "They play very well and [Wood] did a great job on his part. I told our guys that we have to sweep their 3s first and get a couple against their 2s and that's what we did.

"[Their No. 1 players] can only win three [sets each]."

Catano said he will consider some lineup changes beginning with Friday's clash with Poly.

"I'm going to have to shift around some people because they've shown to me that our lineup isn't working," Catano said. "I've tried to make it work, but it's not happening."

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