The Niwot boys tennis team won at least one match in all seven championship brackets last weekend, but failed to finish in the top-three at the Class 4A State Championships for the first time since 2008. The Cougars earned 25 points over the three-day tournament, 10 points behind third-place Cheyenne Mountain, which posted its best team finish since winning the state title in 2012. With individual wins in four of the seven brackets, Kent Denver claimed their fifth consecutive state title with 89 points on the day, just seven ahead of rival Colorado Academy.

For the second straight year, junior Riley Black was the highest individual finisher for the Cougars, with a third place finish at No. 2 singles. After dropping a hard-fought semifinal match to Kent Denver senior Laird Stewart, Black easily defeated local foes Calvin Seamons of Longmont and Ben Bicknell of Silver Creek to advance to the finals of the playbacks bracket. There, he took care of Aspen junior Alex Ilic 6-1, 6-4, to claim the third-place medal.

Freshman Neil Wilcox, playing in his first ever state meet, beat Pueblo Central sophomore Dario Alcala in Round 1 of the No. 1 singles bracket, but was ousted in the quarterfinals by junior Nick Lorenz of Discovery Canyon, 0-6, 4-6. At No. 3 singles, junior Manas Saini also followed his first-round victory with a loss, to Cheyenne Mountain senior Christian Ridings (6-1, 6-3).

In doubles, the Cougars got a boost from their No. 4 team, senior Peter Lee and junior Jongwon Lee, who captured fourth place in their bracket with an appearance in the playbacks final. The pair initially lost in the Championship quarterfinal to eventual title winners Trent Beckman and Chris Tsai of Colorado Academy. In the playbacks bracket, they cruised past their first two opponents, including regional foes Alexander Preston and Daniel Ru of Peak to Peak, but came up short against Cheyenne Mountain’s Bennett Ziegler and Carver Ward in the final.

Elsewhere in doubles, Sam Keronen and Riley Mulshine beat Justin Thompson and Zach Shepherd of Silver Creek 6-3, 6-2 in the first round, then routed the Evergreen team in the quarterfinals, before losing to Colorado Academy’s Caleb Aguirre and Ren Lubchenco for the second time this year in the semifinal round. They then fell in the semifinal of their playback round to Cheyenne Mountain.

It was the same story for the No. 2 and No. 3 doubles teams. Patrick Xiao and Sam Bickham prevailed in their first two matches, but then lost the next two: in the championship semi to Coby Gold and Alex Baum of Kent Denver, who went on to win the title, and then in the playbacks semi to Phil Geraghty and Sam Troughton of Dawson School. At No. 3, Anton Lavrouk and Xavier Moy couldn’t get past the Kasprzak brothers of Thompson Valley in their playback semifinal, but did post wins over teams from Valor Christian and Pueblo West in the championship bracket.

10/12-10/14 — Class 4A state championship, Pueblo City Park

Team scores — Kent Denver 89, Colorado Academy 81, Cheyenne Mountain 35, Niwot 25, Dawson 21, Peak to Peak 17, Valor Christian 16, Aspen 13, Discovery Canyon 11, Thompson Valley 4, Silver Creek 2, Longmont 0, Erie 0.

No. 1 Singles — Nick Lorenz, Discovery Canyon def. Neil Wilcox (6-2, 6-3), Quarterfinals

No. 2 Singles — Laird Stewart, Kent Denver def. Riley Black (7-5, 7-5), Semifinals

Riley Black def. Alex Ilic, Aspen (6-1, 6-4), Playback finals

No. 3 Singles — Christian Ridings, Cheyenne Mountain def. Manas Saini (6-1, 6-3), Quarterfinals

No. 1 Doubles — Caleb Aguirre/Ren Lubchenco, Colorado Academy def. Sam Keronen/Riley Mulshine (6-2, 6-4, 6-3), Semifinals

Drew Connaughton/Danny Geisz, Cheyenne Mountain def Sam Keronen/Riley Mulshine (6-2, 6-2), Playback Semifinals

No. 2 Doubles — Coby Gold/Alex Baum, Kent Denver def. Patrick Xiao/Sam Bickham (6-3, 6-3), Semifinals

Phil Geraghty/Sam Troughton, Dawson School def. Patrick Xiao/Sam Bickham (6-3, 6-3), Playback Semifinals

No. 3 Doubles — Carter Harrington/Kohl Terry, Kent Denver def. Anton Lavrouk/Xavier Moy (6-3, 6-2), Semifinals

Jared Kasprzak/Brody Kasprzak, Thompson Valley def. Anton Lavrouk/Xavier Moy (7-6, 6-2), Playback Semifinals

No. 4 Doubles — Trent Beckman/Chris Tsai, Kent Denver def Jon Lee/Peter Lee (6-3, 7-5), Quarterfinals

Bennett Ziegler/Carver Ward, Cheyenne Mountain def. Jon Lee/Peter Lee (7-6, 6-2), Playback Finals