NORMAN — Nearing the end of a week designed to showcase the Crosstown Clash in many sports, it wasn’t exactly a Clash that took place on the tennis courts at Westwood Park, Norman High and Norman North, though the Tigers and Timberwolves were two of the 16 teams involved.
At the Norman Invitational, NHS finished in front of Norman North, yet both were well back of Tulsa Union, which amassed 57 team points.
A 16-team event, Heritage Hall (52), Ada (46), Deer Creek (41), Yukon (37), and Broken Arrow (37) followed. Then came the Tigers, in seventh place with 31 points, three spots in front of the T-Wolves, who finished with 26 points.
Still, far better than a referendum on in-town tennis dominance, it was much better as a predictor of state tournament entrants.
Two entries appear to be well on their way to Will Rogers Tennis Center come May, while a third would appear to be very much in the running.
North’s No. 1 doubles team of Josh Marrs and Matt Carter pulled out two huge victories on their way to the championship match, before settling on second place against a top-flight field.
NHS’ Jarrett Ferguson, a two-time No. 1 singles state tourney entrant for the Tigers, placed fourth.
Also, NHS’ Jeff McKnight, in his first season as a regular player in the Tiger lineup, at No. 2 singles, made a strong showing with a sixth-place finish against a strong field.
Marrs and Carter appeared to hit a wall in their championship match against Broken Arrow’s Mason Bridegan and Ian Sims, losing 6-2, 6-2, yet that may have been understandable considering the work they put into their second and third matches of the day.
Against teams from both Heritage Hall and Union, the T-Wolves’ tandem came back from one-set deficits in each to get to and win what now constitutes the deciding third set in prep tennis: a race-to-10 tiebreaker.