FAIRBANKS — Lathrop High School sophomore Luke Millam advanced to the boys singles third-place match, and six other Region VI entries are in contention for fourth place after Friday’s action of the Alaska School Activities Association/First National Bank Alaska Tennis State Championships in Anchorage.
Millam, the Region VI boys singles champion, plays Kodiak’s Fisher Gandel for third place at 10:15 a.m. today at the Alaska Club East.
Millam opened the state tournament Friday with a 7-5, 7-6 victory over West Anchorage’s Ethan Pickett.
“In that match, Luke came to the net a lot,” Lathrop head coach Brett Carlson said by phone. “There was a lot of serve and volley, and the other kid was doing it, too. Luke was getting a lot of overhead shots and put-aways.”
Millam moved on to the semifinals, where he lost 6-2, 6-4 to Robbie Sedwick, a teammate of Pickett, in an afternoon match that featured many long rallies.
“He (Millam) was going corner to corner, back and forth,” Carlson said. “He did a fantastic job and he got some wonderful points. I just think he didn’t have enough on the first balls and he was playing catch-up.”
Millam was among three entries from the Region VI team champion Malemutes who were still alive in the state tournament after Friday’s matches.
Riley Knott lost 1-6, 6-3, 1-0 to Wasilla’s Lindley Cebrian in a first-round boys singles match, but Knott, the Region VI runner-up, plays in a consolation semifinal against Juneau-Douglas’ Wolf Dostal at 10 a.m. The winner advances to the fourth-place match at 11:30 a.m.
Helen Wharton, a Lathrop sophomore and the Region VI girls singles champion, lost 6-3, 6-3 to Service’s Bella Pretlow in a quarterfinal. Pretlow earlier beat Monroe Catholic freshman Erin Hendricks by the same score.
Wharton later won 6-0, 6-1 over Kodiak’s Ila Abad in a consolation quarterfinal.
“I think Helen was a little nervous in her first match, but she played fantastic in her second match,” said Carlson, who coaches the Lathrop and Monroe teams.
“She and Erin played a Service girl (Pretlow) who was a strong hitter.”
Wharton and Hendricks, the Region VI runner-up, get opportunities to play for fourth place today.
Wharton takes on West Anchorage’s Sophia Green in a consolation semifinal at 8 a.m. today, and Hendricks plays Kodiak’s Alisha Santamaria at the same time. The winners meet for fourth place at 11:30 a.m.
West Valley’s Naomi Hartman and Sam Stark lost 6-1, 6-0 to Dimond’s Kate and Layne Debenham, the top seeds and defending state champions, in a girls doubles quarterfinal. However, the Wolfpack pair extended their stay in the state tournament.
Hartman and Stark, the Region VI runners-up, play in a consolation semifinal at 9:15 a.m. today, facing Kodiak’s Bella Goble and Luanne Velasco. The winners play for fourth place at 11:30 a.m.
Region VI girls doubles champions Ashley Plys and Hannah Knott were eliminated Friday. The Lathrop duo lost 6-4, 6-4 to second seeds Lia Moon and Claudine Mock, of Service, and fell 6-4, 7-5 to Colony’s Katie Good and Chloe Wright in the consolation round.
West Valley’s Tanner Young and Kade Rowland, the Region VI boys doubles runners-up, lost 6-1, 6-0 to top seeds Teddy Bahr and Charlie Rush, of West Anchorage, in a quarterfinal.
The Wolfpack pair, however, will be back at the Alaska Club East at 9:15 a.m. today to take on Kodiak’s Max Pyles and Joshua Barnett in a consolation semifinal. The fourth-place match is set for 11:30 a.m.
Pyles and Barnett lost 6-4, 6-4 to Region VI champions Jake Footit and Pearson Clark, of Monroe Catholic, in a play-in match. Footit and Clark moved on to the quarterfinals, where they were defeated 7-6, 6-3 by Harrison McLain and Max Garnett of Service.
However, Footit and Clark were eliminated because of a tournament rule.
“It’s a weird kind of rule,” Carlson said. “They started in an outer section of the draw (play-in match), and they won their first match but lost their second match. Apparently, if you play your second match and lose, you don’t get to go on in the draw.”
Some brackets of the state tournament also have odd numbers of participants. Boys doubles, for example, has nine teams.
West Valley’s mixed doubles of Aidan Payan and Morgan Ely, the Region VI runners-up, lost 6-2, 6-1 to Chugiak’s Jared Elison and Clair Mahoney in a play-in match.
Payan and Ely will return to the Alaska Club courts at 10:15 a.m. today to play Wasilla’s Stoll and Cebrian in a consolation semifinals. The mixed-doubles consolation semifinals winners meet for fourth place at 12:45 p.m.
Elison and Mahoney won 6-2, 6-1 over Region VI champions Isaiah Moore and Sofia Squires, of Hutchison, in a quarterfinal. Moore and Squires were later eliminated after a 6-3, 6-1 loss to Sahil Bathjia and Jaymie Collman in a consolation match.
Contact News-Miner sports editor Danny Martin at 459-7586. Follow him on Twitter:@newsminersports.