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Date with doubles destiny?

Tanner Borg and David Longmire don't want to get too ahead of themselves.

With less than a month of tennis to play, the North Medford boys tandem knows there is still a lot to be accomplished before the Class 6A tournament.

But can you blame the Black Tornado doubles pair for looking forward a tad after they improved to 12-1 on Friday?

"They have to be No. 1 or 2 (in the state)," says first-year Tornado coach and Tanner's father Hal Borg. "They've had an incredible year."

Tanner Borg, a sophomore, and Longmire, a junior, form not only North Medford's No. 1 doubles team but possibly the most formidable duo in the state.

Longmire and Borg continued their dominant play by rolling to a 6-3, 6-0 victory in their opening match Friday at the nine-team Medford Invitational at Varsity Courts. They play Ashland's Kyle Lachmund and Jon Weighter today in the semifinals. The championship match will follow.

The North Medford squad's lone loss came on April 3 to last season's state runners-up, Brent Kingzett and Niles Beckley of South Eugene.

Borg and Longmire managed to avenge the 6-3, 6-1 loss with a 7-5, 6-2 triumph at the Jesuit Invitational last Saturday.

A third meeting could take place today if both pairs — the Tornado duo is the top seed and South Eugene's unit is No. 2 — advance to the championship match.

Another matchup in the upcoming Southwest Conference district tournament and a possible showdown in the state championship match may also be in the cards.

"That seems to be the consensus," says coach Borg. "We've seen most of the other doubles teams from around the state and haven't had a lot of trouble with them."

As a team, North Medford trails South Eugene in points, 46-45, heading into today's final round of the Medford Invitational. Ashland is third with 42 points.

Borg and Longmire weren't alone in the winners' circle for North Medford.

In No. 1 singles, North's Michael Tribble easily dispatched Colin Greve of Newberg to advance to the semifinals today. Tribble will face Ashland's Sean Cleveland, who defeated Nate Haldeman of Summit, 7-5, 7-6 (7-3).

Colt Hoeptner advanced in second-flight singles for the Tornado with a 6-1, 6-3 victory over South Eugene's Jordan Willmore, while Ashland's Avi Silberstein also moved on with a 7-5, 6-1 triumph over Matt Downey of Newberg.

Also for North, Evan Petersen rolled by Jordan Smith of Summit, 6-0, 6-1, in No. 4 singles, and Austin Schoenlein and David Tribble blew past a team from Newberg, 6-1, 6-0, in No. 2 doubles.

Ashland's Mon-oh Suh scored a 6-3, 6-3 win over Churchill's Trevor Rippee in No. 4 singles, while teammates Jeff Laskos and Andrew Cataldo romped by Sam Christensen and James Cook of Bend, 6-4, 6-3, in third-flight doubles.

Borg and Longmire have spent plenty of time molding their tight-knit bond on the tennis courts.

The two used to be neighbors and would get matches together on a daily basis while in grade school.

"They're lifelong friends," says Hal Borg. "Their biggest strength is that they've known each other since Kindergarten.

"They seem to communicate real well on the court. One will give the other a wink or a nod as to what they are going to do."

That camaraderie has helped when one of the two is struggling in a certain area.

"If one of us is down," says Longmire, 17, "the other will find a way to pump the other up.

"If I'm bad one day doing something, he'll step up and make up for that."

Tanner Borg, 16, has matured into more of a power player, while Longmire "uses the angles on the court," coach Borg says. "He's a very smart tennis player."

The different looks from each provide a difficult attack plan for the opposition.

"Right now, my backhand is good and I'm serving well," says the younger Borg, who also plays basketball.

"I like to put a lot of spin on my forehand and backhand," Longmire adds. "Tanner is more of a power server. He's a boomer. I like to put more spin on my serve."

Those skills will be put to the test in the upcoming weeks with the SWC district tournament on May 10-12 in Eugene. The state tournament will be May 17-19 at the Portland Tennis Center and Tualatin Hills Tennis Center.

Longmire and Borg won the Southern Oregon Conference district tournament last season and advanced to the quarterfinals of the state tournament.

They're hoping for a much deeper run this year.

"We don't want to jump ahead too much," says Longmire. "But that is something we definitely are looking forward to."

Medford Invitational

Friday's Results

TEAM SCORES — South Eugene 46, North Medford 45, Ashland 42, Barlow 37, Churchill 34, Newberg 29, Summit 25, Bend 20.

Local Players in Main Draw

NORTH MEDFORD — No. 1 singles, Michael Tribble; No. 2 singles, Colt Hoeptner; No. 4 singles, Evan Petersen; No. 1 doubles, Tanner Borg-David Longmire; No. 2 doubles, Austin Schoenlein-David Tribble.

ASHLAND — No. 1 singles, Sean Cleveland; No. 2 singles, Avi Silberstein; No. 4 singles, Mon-oh Suh; No. 1 doubles, Jon Weighter-Kyle Lachmund; No. 3 doubles, Jeff Laskos-Andrew Cataldo.

Reach reporter Kevin Goff at 776-4483, or e-mail kgoff@mailtribune.com

North Medford tennis duo Tanner Borg and David Longmire ROY MUSITELLI PHOTO/4-27-07 - Roy Musitelli