H.S. TENNIS: AVON TAKES SWC TOURNAMENT TITLE

OBERLIN — The Southwestern Conference Tournament came down to the wire Monday, and the final results threw the overall conference crown up for grabs.

Avon, fighting toe-to-toe with Westlake and Avon Lake, pulled ahead for good in the tourney when Mathias Hilton at third singles took home third place in the final match of the day.

The finish gave the Eagles 39 points, outlasting Westlake with 38 and the Shoremen with 36.

The tourney win put the overall conference title into a tie between Avon and Westlake, with the Demons having won the regular-season leg.

“We’re fighting hard to try and win conference against some tough competition,” Westlake first singles competitor Tyler Malin said. “I love playing on the inside track and I was really able to set my pace out there.”

Malin won the first singles bracket at Oberlin College, playing a clean match en route to a 6-1, 6-0 finals victory over Avon Lake’s Spencer Gray.

Westlake took first in three of the five events, yet still fell short.

The Demons seemed destined to be victorious when the team of Amin Boukzam and Terrence Zheng wrapped up the first doubles bracket with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Avon’s Trevor Barrett and Aaron Austinson.

Boukzam helped Westlake reach match point with a beautiful backhand followed by a strong return, bringing the fans to their feet.

“We never lost our momentum and we were able to hit some big shots,” Boukzam said. “We usually play well here and today was like a home-court advantage.”

Avon just continued to chip away and pile up points throughout the tournament, always staying within striking distance.

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