Lockport players gather around their first SouthWest Suburban Conference Blue trophy. | Jeff Vorva/For Sun-Times Media
Lockport had never won a SouthWest Suburban Blue title in boys tennis and needed every point it could get on Saturday to put an end to that skid.
The Porters (27 points) edged Sandburg (26) to win the meet, which was held at Andrew in Tinley Park and Sandburg in Orland Park. Sandburg won the conference’s first five titles while Homewood-Flossmoor and Lincoln-Way East each won two. East was moved to the Red this season.
“We don’t have the really big guns like some of the teams do,” Lockport coach Bob Champlin said. “They can always count on those points. We were depending on winning as a team. We needed everyone to score because we just don’t have that one player who can run it. That’s what’s impressive.”
The coach said senior Sam Johnston’s second-place finish at No. 3 singles was a major lift.
“Sam beat the top seed in the semifinals and that was a huge difference,” Champlin said. “We were seeded high in doubles and we didn’t get all of those points. We needed those points and he was able to do that.’’
The Porters’ second doubles team of Brian Hecker-Jake Polke and the fourth doubles tandem of Kyle Dybas-Bret Scialabba won their respective divisions. Jake Anderson finished second at No. 2 singles, the first doubles team of Mike Hasler-Pat Piwoni took second and the third doubles team of Nolan Witkowski-Chris Monte.
Joliet Co-op junior Tom Carney won the overall singles title with a 6-3, 6-2 win over Sandburg’s Jonluke Passet. Carney had to do some soul searching after finishing fourth in the Joliet Invitational on May 3. That included a shocking 6-0, 6-0 loss to Plainfield South’s Austin Russell.
“It was a reality check,” the two-time state qualifier said. “I was like ‘wow, I can get beat like that.’ My brother Jack came back home [after completing his freshman season at Northern Kentucky] and he hit with me and gave me good advice. I’ve been playing better ever since.’’
Devohn Hall of Homewood-Flossmoor won the second singles title while Sandburg’s Alec Lucic won at No. 3.
The H-F No. 1 doubles team of Jacob Miguest-Jesse Myles won first place while the Sandburg third doubles team of Tejesh Patel-Nick Wood also won a title.
H-F finished third with 24 points followed by Joliet (14), Stagg (12) and Bolingbrook (2).