If you're looking for the early favorite to lift the state championship trophy next month, look no further than Hinsdale Central.
The reigning tournament champs won all four flights at singles and doubles and captured a perfect 80 points to run away from the 32-team field at the prestigious Tom Pitchford 32 hosted by Hersey on Saturday.
Lake Forest (50) and Stevenson (44), both without key players in its lineup, finished second and third, while Deerfield and New Trier tied for fourth overall with 43 points.
A strong showing on the second day of play helped Barrington earn 10th place after scoring 29 points over the weekend.
The Red Devils' top player, Martin Joyce, who last week won the Hinsdale Central Invite, emerged from a very strong field at No. 1 following an impressive 6-4, 6-4 over Stevenson standout Jeremy Bush (15-2), who had been nearly flawless in his four matches leading into the finals.
"I thought it was a very good match, and one that I played pretty well in, but Martin has a big serve and that was a major difference," said Bush, who finished third in the state last season and will continue to play college tennis next fall at Washington University in St. Louis. "He hit some big shots when he needed them."
The classy three-time state qualifier was engaged in an exciting, well-played first set with Joyce (16-0), each hitting one brilliant shot after another, including several nasty returns by Bush that kept the hard-hitting Red Devils standout at the backline.
"The turning point is when he broke my serve in that first set to go up 4-3," Bush said. "If I hold there, maybe it's a different match."
One match earlier, Bush outlasted his NSC rival Kristiyan Trukov (19-4) in a rematch of a recent conference dual which went nearly 3½ hours before Bush prevailed in three sets.
"That was a great match with Jeremy, and one that I was happy with, despite the outcome," said the Marquette-bound Trukov, also three-time state qualifier. "I had to deal with some cramping throughout that match, but I fought through it, and all in all, it was a good match with Jeremy -- and a very good day and tournament for me also."
One of the goals of the Warren senior was to beat another long-time rival, three-time state qualifier Toby Ma (17-4) of Deerfield. And Trukov did just that early Saturday, in match that required 3 sets and took nearly three hours.
"Kristiyan put together a great plan of attack, and he kept to it, and played extremely well against Toby," said Warren coach Greg Cohen.
Trukov later fell to Peter Tarwid of Lake Forest in the third-place match.
Bush's teammates at No 2 doubles, Josh Lieberman and Pawel Jaworski, entered the tournament as the 3-4 seed. They surprised 1-2 seed Scott and Tom Bickel of New Trier in the semifinals to reach the final against Hinsdale Central's team of Eddie Grabill and Harold Martin.
The Red Devils pair staged a strong comeback in the first set before grabbing a straight-set victory to give Central a sweep at doubles after teammates Alex Hagermoser and Peter Heneghan rolled over John Zordani/Scott Christian (Lake Forest) 6-3, 6-3.
"We finished third here last year before winning the state title four weeks later, but it still feels good to win a major title heading into the last week of the season," said Heneghan, who is on his way to Notre Dame next fall.
Lieberman and Jaworski showed they belonged with the best after impressive straight-set victories over Edwardsville and then New Trier before building a 4-1 advantage against Central in the first set.
"Those two are capable of just dominating opponents, and you saw it in stretches. Now if they can only level that off a little bit, and not have such an ebb and flow in their overall game," said Stevenson assistant coach Mark Linnenburger.
Barrington got back into contention for a top 10 finish thanks in part to an energized Varun Parekh, who came back to win the consolation division title at No. 1 singles with his 6-2, 6-2 triumph over Will Sauser of Glenbrook North, and a second-place finish at No. 2 singles from Ishann Jaglan, who fell to Prospect's Ben Fisch 3-6, 6-3, 6-3.
"Varun wasn't happy with his first day, so we made some adjustments overnight, and he came back and responded well to a few changes, and had a very good second day," said Barrington coach John Roncone. "Overall, we were pleased with how we finished in the team race, and with several of the performances from the guys over the two days of play."
Fueled by a third-place finish at No. 2 singles Jon Artus, and great work from its top doubles team of Cody Freischlag and Christian San Andres (16-7), who finished sixth at No. 1 doubles, Downers Grove South took sixth place in the final team standings.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.