Clinton High School’s boys’ tennis squad will head to Cayce on Saturday seeking the sixth Class 3A state championship in school history, after easily capturing the Upper State crown with a 6-0 verdict over Camden.
The Red Devils won all the sets, and only Tyler Trevino, at No. 3 singles, allowed his Bulldog opponent to score as many as four points in a single set.
Isaac MacMillan polished off Camden’s Wilson Pope 6-0, 6-2 at No. 1. The rest of the order followed suit. Ike Waldron defeated K.P. Cassidy 6-1, 6-1. Trevino closed out Robert Lackey 6-4, 6-2. Seventh grader Connor Donley dominated Brett Elliott 6-1, 6-0. Anders Orr defeated Ben Battiatta 6-1, 6-1.
Alexander Windsor and Kyler Simmons teamed at No. 2 doubles to defeat the Wills of Cox and Galloway 6-2, 6-1. The matter having been settled, No. 1 doubles wasn’t contested.
Hanahan defeated Clinton (13-3) in the 2017 finals. The Red Devils, though perennial playoff contenders, have not captured a state championship since 2000.
“I played the first set really well,” MacMillan, one of four Clinton seniors, said. “I was a little jittery at the beginning of the second set, just nerves, but then I got it together. It’s almost like the start of a new match again. He (Pope) knows he can still win it, and it kind of makes the setting completely different … for a while.”
Camden’s season ended with a record of 14-3.
“I had seen them in a tournament,” Clinton coach Clovis Simmons said. “We played them last year, but we’ve gotten a good bit better. I knew we’d match up very well.”
Of MacMillan, who will play next year at Coker College, Simmons said, “Isaac is a senior, a veteran. He’s going to the next level. He understands that he has to turn it up as the season winds down and the matches get tougher.”