Barnstable Tennis Men Just One Step Away: Francis Comes Through Again

LEXINGTON – There is something to be said for having defied the usual sophomore jinx so often prevalent in so many different aspects of competitive athletics.

Especially for a third-year varsity stalwart like Max Francis, only a sophomore.

One more to go: The Barnstable High boys' tennis team downed Acton-Boxborough, 4-1, yesterday and will vie for the state title today against Westboro. Photo courtesy of Betsy Brodd

One more to go: The Barnstable High boys’ tennis team downed Acton-Boxborough, 4-1, yesterday and will vie for the state title today against Westboro.
Photo courtesy of Betsy Brodd

Francis spelled the difference once again Wednesday afternoon as the MIAA Division 1 South Sectional champion Barnstable High tennis team ousted North Sectional champ Acton-Boxborough, 4-1, in the state Division 1 boys’ tennis semifinals; with the effort the Red Raiders are now headed today to make a bid for the school’s first-ever state championship title in tennis.

On the heels of winning its first sectional title since 1999, the Barnstable Red Raiders (21-1) will now face Central Massachusetts champion Westborough (22-0) today at St. John’s (Shrewsbury) at 4:15 pm for a shot at the first tennis state title in school history.

“They were very focused,” Barnstable head coach Mike Sarney said. “And they wanted to jump ahead early, which we did thanks to Tyler Shibles and the two doubles teams, but it was Max (Francis) who clinched it again.”

Barnstable’s first doubles team – senior co-captain Donnie Brodd and junior Cooper Blaze – defeated the Colonials’ tandem of Curtis Guba and Jeff Zhao in a fiercely contested battle, 7-6, in the first set and then fell, 6-4, in the second set. Brodd and Blaze prevailed in the third set, 7-6.

Red Raiders’ second doubles duo Cooper Hesse and Daniel Dettinger-Klemm  solidified the lead with a 6-2, 6-1 win over Leon Friedrihk and Luke Rogers.

While Barnstable first singles player and senior co-captain Sonny Bisazza fell to Ray Boppana, 6-0, 6-4, Red Raider second singles man Shibles made quick business of Marcus Lawrence, 6-0, 6-1, and it all came down to Francis at third singles.

Francis went ahead in the first set with a win, 6-4, over the Blue & Gold’s Sam Maffa, but Maffa came roaring back for a 6-2 win in the second set.

Fighting severe dehydration muscle cramps with the third set at 30-15, Francis rose victorious for two more points and the win, 6-3.

— Sean Walsh is the sports editor for www.capecod.com. His email is seanwalsh@ccb-media.com. Follow him on Twitter @coachwalshccbm



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