Anyone familiar with Columbia County sports wasn't surprised at the outcome of the Region 3-AAAA girls and boys tennis tournaments last week.
Lakeside won again.
For the 19th consecutive year, the Lakeside boys tennis team claimed a region title. Lakeside High School opened in 1988, and the Panthers haven't lost a region tennis tournament since.
"A lot of it goes to Petersburg (Racquet Club) and West Lake (Country Club)," Lakeside boys tennis coach Donnie Burch said. "Over the years we have fed off the Petersburg program."
This year's Region 3-AAAA Tournament, held at Petersburg Racquet Club, saw Lakeside's Rich Pugh, Will Holloway and Kenneth Mooney win their singles matches over Ware County in just more than 35 minutes. The sweep completed one of the fastest region finals rounds and sealed the Panthers win.
A day later, the Lady Panthers dominated in similar fashion. No. 1 singles player Kay Barksdale battled leg cramps in her third and final match of the day but knocked off Greenbrier's Christine Edell in consecutive sets to remain undefeated in the tournament.
"We wanted to win it all," Barksdale said. "We thought we could, but we didn't want to underestimate these people."
Lakeside's No. 1 doubles team composed of sophomores Poorvi Chhabra and Courtney Mellinger also won their match in the region tournament finals over Greenbrier and the No. 2 doubles team of Rachel Quester and Echo Li did the same.
The Lady Panthers, who entered the tournament as a No. 2 seed, beat Glynn Academy, the south subregion's No. 1 seed in the region semifinals and saw north top-seeded Evans fall to third-seeded Greenbrier in the same round. Lakeside swept Greenbrier 3-0 in the finals to take the Region 3-AAAA Championship.
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