Newman headed to state finals

South Whidbey's Riley Newman defeated his nemesis Will Topp for the first time ever Thursday and becomes the first boys district tennis champ for South Whidbey High School in 20 years.

He will represent the Falcon team at state in May.

At District 1 finals at Sehome High School, Newman defeated Sehome 6-0, 6-0; defeated Bellingham 6-1, 6-0; defeated Sehome again 6-1, 6-4 until, finally, he got to play against top-seeded Will Topp, winning 2-6, 6-3, 6-4.

"Riley finally got the best of Topp and a good time to do so, at the district final," said Falcon coach Tom Kramer.

"Last year Riley lost to Will, but this time he came from behind to win the second set and came from behind in the third set to win the match. He controlled his nerves and played like a champion should."

Kramer said the home crowd, expecting a massacre, grew very quiet after Newman won.

"Riley was in overdrive. His final point was an overhand shot that Riley has been having trouble with; it was a poetic cap to his season."

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