Although Wiregrass Ranch’s hopes of the school’s first team title took a hit Wednesday in Altamonte Springs, sophomore Star Makarome remains one of the favorites to take the individual crown.
Makarome knocked off her only opponent Wednesday 6-4, 6-3 to advance to this morning’s Class 4A state tournament semifinals.
“She looked good — she looked really good,” Wiregrass coach Jewell Fye said.
Last spring, Makarome made Pasco County history as a freshman. One of the country’s top juniors players, she became the county’s first state finalists since 2001 before settling for second.
Now she’s more seasoned, with more experience against other state contenders, and she holds the bracket’s top seed heading into a showdown against Orlando Dr. Phillips.
“I’m just trying to get to where I left off last year,” Makarome said.
The Bulls’ boys stumbled and were in fourth place entering the second day of team competition.
Defending state runnerup Courage Okungbowa hadn’t lost a set all year but fell in the first round of No. 1 singles 6-2, 6-1, to Coral Gables. Agie Moreno (No. 2 singles) and freshman Niels van Dam (No. 3 singles) both reached the semifinals before dropping to Cypress Bay.
The Bulls’ doubles teams — Okungbowa-Moreno and Alejandro Feliciano-Foresight Okungbowa — are still alive after Moreno and Okungbowa eked out a three-set victory in the evening.
In Class 2A, Pasco’s doubles tandem of Austin Riddaugh and Josh Morris survived an up-and-down day to earn a 6-4, 5-7, 14-12 win over Panama City Arnold. They trailed 4-2 in the first but rallied to take the set — then let Arnold rebound from a 4-1 hole to drop the second.
Pasco then overcame match point in the 10-point tiebreaker to advance to the individual doubles semifinals.
Riddaugh lost to the No. 1 seed, Suncoast’s Constantin Supper, in the individual singles tournament. Pasco’s Mady Johnson also lost 7-5, 6-2, in the first round of the girls individual singles play.
“She gave it a good showing,” coach Don Charlick said.