Ashland boys doubles team knocks off North's No. 2 seed
All of the top seeds in singles play advance at the SOC boys district championships
ASHLAND - Tyler Coke and Jacob Doty were the only monkey wrenches on the first day of the Southern Oregon Conference boys tennis district tournament.
The unseeded Ashland High doubles duo upset second-seeded Andrew Theen and David Mostue of North Medford in the second round to earn the only unexpected semifinals - and state - berth at Hunter Park.
The four singles players and four doubles teams that survived Thursday's action secured spots in next weekend's Class 4A state tournament.
"They had played (Theen and Mostue) earlier in the year and had lost in three sets in a three-hour affair," Grizzlies head coach Dick Streng said of Coke and Doty. "It was a long three-set match again, and this time we were luckier."
In singles play, North's Tyler Wilson, Klamath Union's Reid Arthur, Ashland's Ari Zaslow and North's John Falath made sure things went according to form by advancing to Saturday's second and final day of action.
Wilson, the top seed, will meet third-seeded Zaslow in one semifinal, while No. 2-seed Arthur and fourth-seeded Falath tangle in the other.
"I don't think any of them lost more than three games," Streng said of the quartet's showing on Thursday.
Arthur, the defending SOC champion, was questionable heading into the tournament with a back injury.
But Streng didn't notice any problems in Arthur's performance Thursday.
"It didn't look like his back was hurting him," Streng said. "He was hitting the ball pretty strong."
Coke and Doty join fellow Ashland doubles team Kevin Spears and Evan Schleining, the tournament's top seed, in the semifinals. Third-seeded Stewart Westmore and Jared Schricker of Roseburg and fourth-seeded Dru Philips and Clint Russell of North are the other duos remaining.
Spears-Schleining meets Philips-Russell, while Coke-Doty plays Westmore-Schricker on Saturday, when action begins at 10 a.m. at Hunter Park.