Anyone with lingering doubts about the best boys tennis team in the state needed only to look at the boys doubles court Saturday at Carson High School.
On that court, battling for the state championship were Bonanza’s Aashish Daulat and Andrew Whiting, competing against teammates Laurent Gontier and Sean Lettero.
The four were one day removed from helping the Bengals cap an unbeaten season by winning the Class 4A state title.
“It was a nice celebration of Bonanza tennis,” coach Erik Davis said. “It was mentally tough for both teams, but it was also nice as a coach to kick back and relax and just watch them play. They earned it.”
Daulat and Whiting won their second straight doubles title, defeating Gontier and Lettero, 6-4, 6-3.
On the singles court, Palo Verde’s Brandon Parker made it a South sweep with a 6-3, 7-5 victory over Reno’s Jeff Mullen.
Daulat and Whiting defeated Gontier and Lettero in the Sunset Region semifinals, but the latter pair fought its way back for a rematch.
“Everyone put their friendship aside for the match and played their best,” Daulat said. “As soon as it was over, we were all friends again. We knew it was going to be a battle.”
Davis said, “They just had more heart than the other teams. These kids are just special.”
Bonanza will lose 12 seniors next season, including Daulat, Whiting and Gontier.
“It was a dream come true,” Daulat said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better way to go out. It was just a great ending to high school tennis.”
Parker, who won state doubles titles with David Nichols in 2005 and ’06, entered the singles tournament as the Sunset’s No. 2 seed after losing to teammate Stan Breland in the regional final.
He beat defending state champion Evan Song of Green Valley, 7-5, 6-3, in the semifinal. Mullen, standing 6 feet 9 inches, defeated Breland, 6-4, 6-4 in the other semifinal.
“Brandon played really consistent,” Palo Verde coach Zach Brandt said. “He was serving big today. His return of serve was huge and against those guys, you have to return serve well.”
Parker’s brother Cameron won state singles titles in 2001 and ’03.
“Brandon had a grin from ear to ear,” Brandt said. “He was really excited to finally get that singles title. It’s a really nice win for him.”