SALT LAKE CITY – Region 9’s best shot at a singles title at the 3A state tournament turned into a bust when Dixie freshman Stefan Balian was beaten by Bear River junior Steffen Rigby 6-1, 6-0. It was the start of a big day for Bear River, which surged past favorite Park City to capture the 3A team title Saturday at Liberty Park.
Rigby, now a two-time champion, followed the win over Balian with a 6-3, 6-3 sweep of Park City senior Cole Lee in the 1st Singles title match, earning a total of six points for the Bears. He was matched by teammate (and brother) Keanu Rigby at 2nd Singles, a freshman who beat Park City senior Connor Burke 6-1, 6-1 in the championship match.
Those 12 points, along with four earned by BRHS senior Rayden Ogborn for finishing second at 3rd Singles and one earned in doubles gave Bear River 17 team points, far outdistancing the Miners, who had 12 points and actually dropped to third behind Snow Canyon. Park City’s only state champion was Jaxon Brenchley at 3rd Singles.
For the Warriors, a move up the ranks to second place overall at state (13 points) came with the success of both 1st and 2nd Doubles teams.
The 1st Doubles duo of Matt Morgan and Broden Lund avenged its Region 9 tourney loss in the state finals by beating Conner McArthur and Josh James of Desert Hills. McArthur-James had beaten Morgan-Lund 7-6 (4), 7-6 (4) at region, but this day would belong to the two Warriors. Morgan-Lund prevailed in a three-set nailbiter 6-2, 6-7 (8), 6-4.
“Matt (Morgan) has a lot of offers to play tennis at the next level and college coaches like to see that you can play doubles as well as singles,” SC coach Jeremy Atkin said. “Matt and Broden make a dynamic duo. They’ve made so much improvement in the short time they’ve been together.”
After a rough couple of first rounds in singles play, Snow Canyon’s chances at winning the 3A team title were gone. But Atkin said his team set its sights on a second-place finish.
“We knew we’d need both of our doubles teams to take state to have a shot at second,” Atkin said.
And that is exactly what happened as Morgan-Lund’s title was combined with the first-place finish at 2nd Doubles by Cade Thorkelson and Tanner Deal to earn Snow Canyon 12 team points. The Warriors got one point in singles and came away with second overall.
Deal-Thorkelson beat the top-seeded Park City team in the first round and kept the momentum going with Saturday wins over Region 9 top seed Futo Ide and Nathan Obray (4-6, 6-3, 7-6) of Pine View in the semifinals. Deal-Thorkelson then defeated the Desert Hills pair of Noah Thompson and Ethan Anderson 6-0, 7-5 in the title match.
1st Singles – Steffen Rigby (Bear River) def. Cole Lee (Park City), 6-3, 6-3
2nd Singles – Keanu Rigby (Bear River) def. Connor Burke (Park City), 6-1, 6-1
3rd Singles – Jaxon Brenchley (Ridgeline) def. Rayden Ogborn (Bear River), 6-3, 6-0
1st Doubles – Morgan-Lund (Snow Canyon) def. McArthur-James (Desert Hills), 6-2, 6-7 (8), 6-4
2nd Doubles – Deal Thorkelson (Snow Canyon) def. Thompson-Anderson (Desert Hills), 6-0, 7-5
Bear River 17
Snow Canyon 13
Park City 12
Desert Hills 10
Pine View 5
Juan Diego 2
North Sanpete 2
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