OKLAHOMA CITY — Max Gillett couldn’t get over the hump. Whenever the Norman high senior faced a tennis player who was a higher seed, he could never find a way to close the deal and get a win.
That changed Tuesday during the Mid-State Conference Championship tournament at the Oklahoma City Tennis Center. In the No. 2 singles division, Gillett earned the title by defeating No. 1 seed Harrison Gieger of Edmond Memorial in the finals.
“I’ve haven’t done very well against higher seedings than me, but this is a big one,” Gillett said. “It definitely kind of opened myself up to the idea that I can actually be good. Maybe do something in state this year.”
Not only did Gillett beat Harrison, he swept through him in straight sets, 6-3, 6-4.
“I played out of my mind,” Gillett said. “I haven’t really played that much. I just kind of went out there and played as well as I could possibly play. I just tried to play it a game at a time. I never tried to get ahead of myself because I know that everyone thinks he’s better than me. So why worry about it. I’m supposed to lose huge to him.”
Norman High coach Kelly Stout said Gillett has been close to coming through with an upset win at several points in the season.
“Max finally broke through today,” Stout said. “He’s been on the edge of two or three really tight matches this year with some really good players. I think he’s over that hump now and will now start shining a little more in matches.”
Despite the win by Gillett, it wasn’t enough to vault the Tigers into a team championship. The Bulldogs cruised to the boys’ title with 30 points. Westmoore took second with 21. Norman North edge out NHS by a point to take hold of third place.