BOYS STATE: Clark's Yee dominant in repeating as champion


A second consecutive state singles title should be cause to celebrate.

It might even merit dropping to one’s knees and yelling in triumph.

Clark’s Kris Yee, though, simply took it in stride Saturday.

A mild-mannered senior, Yee put on a clinic at Darling Tennis Center, downing Centennial’s Travis

Beck 6-2, 6-1 to become the first repeat boys state singles champion since Bishop Gorman’s David DiMartino in 1996 and 1997.

But after the match, Yee barely cracked a smile.

“I’m just stressing over college and all that,” Yee said, adding that he anticipates signing with Vanderbilt this week.

The outcome never was in doubt, as Yee rattled off the first three games of the opening set against Beck, who had a grueling three-set win over Cimarron-Memorial’s Brian Foley in Saturday morning’s semifinal.

“My kick serve was working really well, and I was just trying to hit my forehand a little more,” Yee said.

In his two years on Clark’s team, Yee was barely tested in a high school match. But instead of bypassing the high school season as some elite-level players do, he wanted to be part of a team.

“I’ve loved it. I really have,” Yee said. “I’m definitely going to remember this. This was a lot of fun.”
Yee wasn’t the only champion to successfully defend Saturday.

Palo Verde senior Tanner Berkabile and junior Ozzy Abraham captured their second straight boys doubles title, topping Reno’s Chris Sexton and Nick Sexton, 6-0, 6-3.

Berkabile and Abraham, who rely heavily on emotion on the court, had to work to defeat Liberty’s Gil Lim and Blayze O’Keefe 7-5, 7-5 in the semifinals but came out sharp against the Sextons.

Berkabile and Abraham gained a measure of revenge against the Huskies duo after the Sextons helped Reno defeat Palo Verde in the boys team semifinals Thursday.

“We made returns, and that was key,” Berkabile said. “We held serve and made returns.”

Bonanza’s duo of Aashish Daulat and Andrew Whiting was the last team to win consecutive doubles crowns, in 2007 and 2008.

“Being able to win two times in a row with your best friend is just great,” Abraham said. “Just being able to play with your best friend really boosts your confidence.”
 

Class 4A State Singles and Doubles Tournament
At Darling Tennis Center
Saturday’s Results
Boys Singles
Semifinals, Travis Beck, Cent, d. Brian Foley, Cim, 6-3, 2-6, 7-6(3); Kris Yee, Clk, d. Rohan Gupte, Ran, 6-1, 6-1.
 
Third place, Foley d. Gupte, 6-3, 6-7(6), 6-1
 
Championship, Yee d. Beck, 6-2, 6-1
 
Boys Doubles
Semifinals, Chris Sexton and Nick Sexton, Reno, d. Kai Carl and Bryden Baxter, Coro, 6-2, 6-1; Tanner Berkabile and Ozzy Abraham, Palo, d. Gil Lim and Blayze O’Keefe, Lib, 7-5, 7-5.
 
Third place, Lim and O’Keefe d. Carl and Baxter, 6-3, 6-3
 
Championship, Berkabile and Abraham d. Sexton and Sexton, 6-0, 6-3