REDMOND — Winning every duel, Redmond dominated the Intermountain Conference regular season.
This weekend’s district tennis tournament was no different.
Playing on their home courts at Sam Johnson Park, seven Panthers qualified for the Class 5A state tournament.
Breaden Brooks, who battled the flu and a hip injury toward the end of the season, said he was fully recovered as he cruised to the IMC singles championship by losing only four games in his four matches combined.
“I was really confident going through, being the No. 1 seed and having a good season,” Brooks said. “I was swinging as hard as I could and the ball kept going in so I kept doing it.”
Brooks defeated Crook County junior Pablo Casado 6-2, 6-2 in the finals.
Casado, the No. 3 seed, upset Hood River Valley’s Vaughn Reardon, the No. 2 seed, 6-2, 7-6 in the semifinals.
Casado, an exchange student from Spain, was 0-2 against Reardon during the regular season.
“The first time was pretty close, the second one wasn’t but I was taking notes the whole time I was playing, so I just figured out a plan on how to beat him and it worked,” Casado said. “I made lots of friends here and all of them were supporting me. It was a big shock winning.”
Redmond’s Benny Saito and Skyler Jones won the doubles bracket, defeating Panthers teammates Yoshi Saito and Charlie Rawlins 6-3, 6-3 in the finals.
“It was a blast,” Benny Saito said of competing against his younger brother Yoshi for the district title. “We’ve never played before. We both competed hard and it was a fun match. There was a little bit more joking around because we know each other and we go way back but we still competed.”
Redmond’s Jeff Hair and Chad Pilling placed third at the district tournament to also qualify for state Friday and Saturday at the Portland Tennis Center.
“You still have to show up and play and prove yourself and that’s what happened today,” Redmond coach Nathan Saito said. “The whole season, it was not win districts and go to state, it was get better every day, enjoy the journey and have fun. That’s what we’ve been doing the whole season.”
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