STATE BOYS: Clark’s Yee tops familar foe in Vongman for singles title

RENO — Clark’s Kris Yee and Canyon Springs’ Jeff Vongman don’t have many secrets to keep from one another on the tennis court, having faced each other regularly since they were 8 years old.
The latest bragging rights go to Yee, who defeated Vongman 6-2, 6-2 Saturday at the Caughlin Club to capture the boys Class 4A state singles championship.
“I’m pretty happy with myself, and I’m happy for the school, too,” Yee said. “I found out this week that nobody from Clark had done this since 1986. I’m ecstatic right now.”
Yee had the answer for everything Vongman threw at him Saturday, a byproduct of playing both with and against each other for almost 10 years.
“We practice together and of course travel and play in a lot of tournaments, and we play doubles together,” Yee said. “When you’ve played before you know what he is capable of and not to go there, but it’s the same for him with you. It’s harder and easier, at the same time.”
Yee said Vongman beat him all the time when they were younger, but that has begun to change recently.
“Everyone’s improvement rates come at a different time,” Yee said. “You grow a foot, or get a big serve. Maybe in two years he’s beating me again.”
Max Novak of The Meadows beat Mitchell Smith of Coronado 7-5, 6-4 to take third place.
In the doubles championship, Ozzy Abraham and Tanner Berkabile of Palo Verde beat teammates Zach Bellon and Jeremy Mann, 3-6, 6-2, 6-3.
On Friday, the two Palo Verde doubles teams helped the Panthers claim their fifth boys team title in seven years. On Saturday, each stood in the way of what the other team wanted.
“It feels good, especially to take out two seniors,” Berkabile said. “We really wanted to play our teammates because even if we lost it’s still Palo, so we’re happy about that.”
Abraham, a sophomore, said Bellon and Mann beat he and Berkabile, a junior, easily every time they played at the start of the season.
“I think we’re stepping it up,” Abraham said. “We’re best friends, too, so it’s a good feeling.”
After losing the first set, Berkabile said he and Abraham were able to come back because they kept their composure.
“The main thing is they got down on themselves,” Berkabile said, “and we stepped it up and never got down on each other.”
Kyle Del Rosario and Cody Miller of Bishop Gorman claimed third place with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Dylan Hansel and John Qualls of Foothill.