The Gilman tennis team truly had a perfect day yesterday, ending McDonogh's two-year hold on the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title with a 5-0 sweep of the Eagles in the championship match at Bryn Mawr.
McDonogh had won two consecutive MIAA A Conference championships and 14 of the past 19, often beating Gilman to win its crowns. This was the Greyhounds' first title in three years, and they earned it with a strong lineup in singles. Junior Ted Kelly, senior Chris Mason and junior Zach Gorn didn't lose a match all season playing at Nos. 1-3 singles.
"We'd pointed to this all year," Gorn said. "We came in expecting to win and for once, the pressure was on us, and we pulled through."
But Gilman (17-2) needed to overcome one last-second hurdle in this match as tendinitis flared up in Mason's left arm yesterday, forcing coach Jim Busick to alter his lineup. Busick moved Mason back to No. 1 doubles with Brad Millison while pushing Gorn up to No. 2 singles. John Kelly then stepped in at No. 3 singles.
All the moves paid off as the Greyhounds got straight-set victories in each match.
"Sometimes you get one; sometimes you get two, but I got four really good singles players this year," Busick said. Ted Kelly beat Alexander Centenari, 6-0, 6-3, in No. 1 singles, and Gorn defeated Joel Posner by the same score at No. 2 singles. John Kelly pulled out a 6-3, 7-6 (7-2) win over Matt Ford in No. 3 singles.
The Mason/Millison team defeated Steve Wexler and Erik Schenk (6-2, 6-3) in No. 1 doubles, and Gilman's No. 2 doubles combination of James Wieler and Michael Eisenstein topped Jeremy Bengson and Neil Parikh, 6-1, 7-6 (8-6).
"Gilman just came out smoking today," McDonogh coach Laddie Levy said. "The trophy goes to the right place."
B Conference -- Severn edged Glenelg Country School, 3-2, in the MIAA B Conference final at Anne Arundel Community College. The Dragons got wins from Will Garrett and Ryan Kent at Nos. 2 and 3 singles, respectively. Felix Hong won No. 1 singles for the Admirals while teammates Matt Gilmor and Chris Hoehn-Saric were victorious at No. 2 doubles. In No. 1 doubles, Severn's Jon Meckert and Collin Bauer won when Tommy Rice and partner John Garrett had to forfeit in the first set because of Rice's sprained ankle.