ST. PETERSBURG — Shorecrest eighth-grader Logan Elder could feel the importance of his three-set match against Dylan Glasgow at No. 5 singles increasing with every swing.
Shorecrest held a 3-1 lead after four singles matches Tuesday in its Class A, Region 5 semifinal at the St. Petersburg Tennis Center against Community School of Naples.
A win by Elder would send the Chargers into the region final Thursday at Cardinal Mooney. A loss would put pressure on their doubles teams. Elder's match could have been a potential turning point for the Seahawks, but with players and coaches from both teams watching the final set intently, the youngster attacked Glasgow's backhand to persevere 7-5, 1-6, 6-1.
"When everybody came over to watch my third set, it made me feel better," Elder said. "It pumped me up."
Shorecrest defeated Community School of Naples 6-1.
At No. 1 singles, Garrett Betsarakis needed little time to blank David Max Bellsinger 6-0, 6-0. Brendan East was a 6-0, 6-4 winner at No. 2 singles over Jared Lipnian, and Nick Litsky took care of Alex Day 6-2, 6-2 to give the Chargers three singles victories at the top of the lineup.
"We expected to have a pretty tough battle," Shorecrest coach Woody Every said. "Our guys did well."
4A: Devils stymied
ST. PETERSBURG — Two-time defending Class 3A state champion Wharton barely made it out of districts. The Wildcats' region semifinal against St. Petersburg at the St. Petersburg Tennis Center was a bit less suspenseful.
Wharton took four of five singles matches and both doubles points in a convincing 6-1 win.
The Green Devils' lone victory came at No. 4 singles, where Robert Dvorak was a 6-3, 6-0 winner over T.J. Young.
"I was totally amazed at how good Wharton was," St. Petersburg coach Todd St. Louis said. "Our kids played hard, they just beat us. …We were off on a couple shots here and there; they weren't off on anything."
4A: Plant routs PHU
TAMPA — Fresh off a district title, Plant made quick work of Palm Harbor University with a 7-0 victory. No. 1 Tristan Kaye, No. 2 Brenton D'adamo and No. 4 Lantz Martin each won their singles matches 6-1, 6-1, while No. 3 Mike Secular and No. 5 Adam Osiason won in two sets.
3A: Dunedin dumped
CLEARWATER — Powered by a deep and experienced lineup, East Bay defeated Dunedin 6-1.
The Falcons started strong at No. 1 singles with Mike Beiler beating Kyle Whiteside 6-4, 6-1.
After that, the Indians took control. Tim Anderson (No. 2), David Giampa (No. 3), Robbie Kopstad (No. 4) and Dawson Diehl (No. 5) all won convincingly.
Dunedin was hurt with the loss of No. 2 Matt Baker (ill).
"We went in here with what we had," Dunedin coach John King said. "It could have been closer if we were at full strength, but it might not have mattered. East Bay came in and played very well."
3A: Largo foiled
TAMPA — Hillsborough appears well on its way to states, dropping just one game in singles play against Largo. No. 1 Brian Kowalski, No. 2 Jack Murphy, No. 3 Alex Peckham and No. 4 J Mendoza each won 6-0, 6-0. No. 5 Karim Saad won 6-0, 6-1..
2A: Jesuit too strong
TAMPA — Jesuit coach Joe Curtis had concerns about the Spartans' experience — Lakewood starts four seniors and a junior — but the Tigers rolled to a 5-0 win. All freshmen, the Tigers' top three — No. 1 Jamie Sullivan (6-2, 6-2), No. 2 Jordan Nasser (6-1, 6-1) and No 3. David Pagiarulo (6-3, 6-4) — won in straight sets.
A: Canterbury denied
Cardinal Mooney's depth was too much for visiting Canterbury, which lost 5-2. Miles Holvoet dropped Cardinal Mooney's Tim Berg 5-7, 7-5, 6-4 in No. 1 singles, and Miles and Evan Holvoet won No. 1 doubles by default. But Cardinal Mooney dominated the other matches.
"We played well (Tuesday), but we're young. We've got lots of room to go," Canterbury coach Jack Carey said.
Times staff writers Bob Putnam and Eduardo A. Encina contributed to this report.