Fowler, Wood capture City titles


Winning the big points early proved beneficial for Poly's Michael Fowler. For Western's Portia Wood, it was a simple case of lasting power.

Fowler captured the Baltimore City boys singles title with a straight-set win over City's Maurice Chalmus, while Wood claimed her third straight girls title with a three-set marathon win over City's Anna Friedman at Clifton Park yesterday.

In a 6-1, 6-3 win, Fowler - counting on a big first serve and solid ground strokes - opened his match with a break of serve and then won consecutive deuce games to take charge in the first set.

Chalmus tried to rally in the second set, breaking Fowler with a love game to close within 4-3, but the latter got the break right back with a big return finding the left corner the pivotal point at 30-40.

Fowler, a senior who improved to 14-0 on the season, closed out the match with a smash winner.

"It was just being consistent and trying to make him make the mistakes. I was able to place the ball where I wanted to for the better part of the match," said Fowler, who lost in last year's final.

Steady baseline play and numerabledeuce games were on display in the girls final with Wood enduring for a 6-4, 3-6, 6-4 win.

Friedman was down a set and trailing early in the second before rallying to force a deciding set.

On serve in the third set at 4-4, Wood got the break she needed when she hit a deep baseline shot and followed up with an angle winner in the left corner for a 5-4 lead.

In the next game, Friedman fought off three championship points before Wood ended another long rally with a drop shot.

Wood, a junior who is moving to California for her senior year, knew she was in for a long day. In the regular-season meeting between the two - playing a pro set - Wood was extended to a 9-7 win.

"I think I really wanted this. It came down to waiting for the right shot and taking it," said Wood.

Mervo's David Jones and Jerard Sweetwine teamed to beat Andrew Cushing and Andrew Gorman of Poly in the boys doubles final, 6-3, 7-5.

In an all-Western girls doubles final, Latova Chambers and Tia Vance defeated teammates Latasha Simmons and Candice Stokes, 2-6, 6-3, 7-5.

Poly's Andre Johnson and Kerry Wixted won the mixed doubles title, 6-3, 6-1, over Walbrook's Bryan Lee and Tracy Fickling.

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