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Kento Perera Breezes Into Channel League Tennis Semifinals

Kento Perera of San Marcos roared into the semifinals of the Channel League Tournament.
Kento Perera of San Marcos roared into the semifinals of the Channel League Tournament. (Noozhawk File Photo)

Two-time defending champion Kento Perera of San Marcos opened his quest for a third straight title with a pair of dominating wins on the first day of the Channel League Individual Tournament at Santa Barbara High.

The top-seeded Perera didn't lose a game in beating Brian Ariza of Buena and eighth-seeded Won Jong of Ventura.

Santa Barbara High's Spencer Ekola made his Channel League Tournament debut and won his two matches handily, beating Coby Morales of Buena and fourth-seeded Vincent Villano of Dos Pueblos in the second round. Ekola won three straight singles titles in the Frontier League for Bishop Diego before transferring to Santa Barbara.

Ekola's teammate, Harry DeBoer, won two matches to earn a shot at Perera in today's 3 p.m. semifinals at the SBHS courts. Unseeded Alex Stefanov of San Marcos rolled into the other semifinal against Ekola.

The closest match of the day was the first rounder between DP's Chris Lane and No. 7 seed Max Cohen. Lane won the 2-hour, 19-minute marathon, 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-0.

"Focused, energized, Chris ran down every ball," said DP coach Liz Frech. "He showed that intense energy even in his second-round loss against No. 2 seed Spencer Ekola."

The doubles competition begins on Wednesday at Santa Barbara. The doubles semifinals and final and the singles final are set for Thursday at Knowlwood Tennis Club.

Channel League Individual Tournament

at Santa Barbara High

1. Kento Perera -SM
2. Spencer Ekola - SB
3. Harry DeBoer - SB
4. Vincent Villano - DP
5. Mason Dochterman - DP
6. Dominik Stefanov - SM
7. Max Cohen - Ventura
8. Won Jong - Ventura

First Round

Perera def Brian Ariza (Buena) 6-0, 6-0
Jong def Mike Kelly (SB) 6-2, 6-1
Dochterman def Stephen Russell (Ventura) 6-0, 6-0
deBoer def Dan Coulson (SM) 6-0, 6-3
Villano def Mason Beiling (Buena) 6-0, 6-0
Alex Stefanov def Kai Wilkinson (SB) 6-0, 6-0
Chris Lane (DP) def Cohen (V) 7-6 (5), 1-6, 6-0 (2 hr 19 min)
Ekola def Coby Morales (Buena) 6-0, 6-0

Second round
Perera def Jong 6-0, 6-0
deBoer def Dochterman 6-1, 6-1
Stefanov def Villano 6-0, 6-2
Ekola def. Lane

Tuesday at SBHS: Semifinals of singles: Perera vs deBoer; Stefanov vs Ekola. 3 p.m.

Wednesday - at SBHS - two rounds of doubles. Matches start 2:30 p.m.

Thursday - Knowlwood Tennis Club

2:30 p.m. — Semifinals: Doubles
4:30 p.m. — Finals: Doubles and Singles

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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