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On their own, Tigers too tough for Wildcats

Jesuit couldn't beat Wharton in doubles so the Tigers took care of business early and often in singles Thursday.

By JUSTIN DARGAHI
Published March 30, 2007


TAMPA - Jesuit couldn't beat Wharton in doubles so the Tigers took care of business early and often in singles Thursday.

The Tigers (6-0) took four of five singles matches to hang on for a 4-3 win over the Wildcats in a battle of unbeatens.

Wharton's only singles win came from No. 2 Mitch Wong, who rallied for a 6-7, 6-4, 6-1 win over Bryan Beasley.

Jesuit No. 1 Mark Wilkie, a senior, got his team off to a good start with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Michael Alford.

"We're just trying to play like a team," Wilkie said. "Our coach really stresses that. Wharton is a great team and for us to play well against them and beat them says a lot about our character."

The only close match for the Tigers was No. 5 Josh Wynne beating Alex Bartholomew despite losing more total games in a 6-4, 0-6, 6-3 win. The three-set victory clinched the win for Jesuit.

Doubles were a different story.

Alford and Mike O'Rourke defeated Wilkie and Wynne 8-3 to cut the Jesuit lead to 4-2.

Wong and Bartholomew then beat Marcale Smith and Chase Merlin 8-4. But it was too little too late for the Wildcats (7-1).

In other singles action, Smith beat O'Rourke 6-3, 6-2, and Merlin controlled David Bastian 6-2, 6-2.

"We really want to make a run at state this year," Wilkie said. "That's our main goal."