Alternates or not, Los Altos High’s Christian Beck and Braden Holt showed they belonged in the Central Coast Section boys doubles tennis championships.
The Eagles duo – earning a spot in the tournament after a team from Piedmont Hills bowed out – made it all the way to the semifinals. Beck and Holt took second-seeded Everett Maltby and Andre Dang of Mitty to three sets in the semis.
Beck said their performance validated that he and Holt should have made CCS in the first place.
“The sweetest part was proving to those who didn’t believe we should be there that they were very, very wrong,” he said. “We definitely played pretty solid.”
The Los Altos seniors – who took third at their league tournament – won two matches the first day of CCS, held May 20 and 21 at Imperial Courts in Aptos. They opened with a 6-1, 6-2 victory over Woodside’s Hal Tuttle and Jose Lopez, then stunned third-seeded brothers Nick and Reed Fratt of Menlo-Atherton 6-2, 6-4.
Beck and Holt met their match the next day, when Maltby and Dang defeated them 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
“It was a brutal match that went two and a half hours,” Beck said. “Those guys are really good.”
In singles, Pinewood sophomore Gabe Owens reached the quarterfinals. Palma’s Randy Corey beat him 3-6, 6-2, 6-0 May 20. Earlier that day, Owens topped Serra’s Matt Compana 6-2, 6-3.
“It was a great season for Gabe, and he will continue to improve,” Panther coach Craig Corfield said.
Third-seeded St. Francis squeaked by No. 14 San Lorenzo Valley 5-4 in extra innings in the first round of the CCS Open Division playoffs May 21.
Blake Billinger’s single in the ninth scored the winning run for the host Lancers (26-4). Tim Susnara earned the win in relief, striking out eight batters in four innings of work.
St. Francis was scheduled to face rival Bellarmine (24-6) in Saturday’s quarterfinals, played after the Town Crier’s deadline.
St. Francis held off Los Altos and Mountain View to capture its 15th consecutive CCS championship. The Lancers posted a score of 150.800 May 21 at Gymtowne in South San Francisco. The Eagles finished second (146.550) and the Spartans took third (144.775).
Sophomore Melissa Seaman paced St. Francis, placing third all-around with a 38.250. She finished second on floor (9.650) and fourth on bars (9.775) and beam (9.675). Junior teammate Abby Purnell was fifth all-around (37.925), posting her best scores on floor (third, 9.600) and vault (tied for fourth, 9.300).
Samantha Aguirre, a freshman, placed third on bars (9.800) for Los Altos. Mountain View sophomore Elaine Silverman finished fifth on beam (9.625) and tied for fifth on vault (9.300).