WILKES-BARRE — They call it a bagel in tennis. And, yet, there is nothing remotely appetizing about it.
Pittston Area’s Nick Harth was handed a bagel — tennis speak for a 6-0 set (hold the lox and cream cheese) — in the first set of Tuesday’s singles quarterfinal round.
Harth bounced back from his early setback to survive a District 2-4 Class 3A quarterfinal matchup. He posted an uncommon 0-6, 6-1, 6-2 decision over Abington Heights’ Owen Holland.
“I really don’t know how I pulled it off,” Harth said. “(Holland) had a phenomenal first game, and then I realized I definitely had to play better if I was going to win. I just had to step up my game.”
The fifth-seeded senior is one of three Wyoming Valley Conference boys tennis athletes to advance to the semifinal round that will be played Wednesday afternoon at Kirby Park. Wyoming Seminary’s Will Ziegler and Holy Redeemer’s Chris Kocin qualified in the Class 2A field.
Harth came out flat in the first set, unable to win a single game. Holland cruised to a 0-6 set win, and Harth looked destined to have an early exit against the No. 4 seed.
Following the break, Harth focused more on hitting through his shots. As opposed to “babying serves” he said that he tried to take advantage of the service game to give himself a chance to get points earlier.
“In the second set, I was just going to play harder and run faster,” Harth said. “Because, obviously, the way I played in the first killed. I had to do something to win.”
Harth found his momentum and secured 6-2, 6-1 wins in the latter two sets. He faces a tough foe in the tournament’s top seed, Tomas Reese of Delaware Valley, who had a pair of 6-4, 6-1 matches.
“All I kept thinking about in the third set is that Pittston Area is normally not known as a good tennis school,” Harth said. “I just kept thinking, ‘Hey, if I win, at least I’ll bring home something in tennis that most people haven’t.’ ”
Both Ziegler and Kocin had upset victories in the quarterfinals and enter the semis as the Nos. 5 and 6 seeds, respectively. Ziegler will face top seed Lenny Maiocco, of Western Wayne, and Kocin takes on No. 2 Jack Habeeb, of Scranton Prep.
In a back-and-forth match with Dallas’ John Toussaint, Ziegler prevailed by a 2-6, 7-5, 6-4 score. After coming back from a letdown in the first, the Wyoming Seminary junior avoided a tiebreaker to force a third set.
In the third, Ziegler trailed 3-2 before winning three consecutive games. Toussaint battled off mental fatigue to win his service, slimming his deficit to 5-4. Ziegler won two solid points by going to Toussaint’s right side for match point. After a double fault, he clinched the victory with an ace.
Holy Redeemer’s Kocin beat out Holy Cross’ Logan Gregory in straight 6-2, 6-2 sets. Kocin shook off signs of a long three-match day and affecting warm temperatures to take care of his opponent.
H.S. Boys Tennis
District 2 Class 2A Singles
Curry Chang (HC) d. Noah Craig (BER) 6-1, 6-0
Lenny Maiocco (WW) d. Chang (HC) 6-0, 6-0; Rhys Kelly (SP) d. Mark Harrison (HR) 6-2, 6-3; Jason Demers (HON) d. Seth Reyes (DUN) 6-2, 6-0; Carlo Possanza (VV) d. Steven Vetri 6-1, 6-0; Will Ziegler (SEM) d. Marshall Mackosky 6-0, 6-0; Vitto Sica (TUN) d. Nick Perry (WA) 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1; Noah Jennings (RIV) d. Matt Hamel (COU) 6-3, 6-3; John Toussaint (DAL) d. Zander Spear (MMI) 6-0, 6-1; Logan Gregory (HC) d. Ryan Carrotto (VV) 6-3, 6-0; Alex DeRome (DAL) d. Justin Alder (WA) 6-2, 6-1; Dominic Corma (WW) d. Alex Keiser (TUN) 6-4, 6-4; Chris Kocin (HR) d. Nick Theobald (HON) 6-1, 6-0; Duncan Lumia (SEM) d. Alex Riccio (DUN) 6-2, 6-4; Kyle Creedon (RIV) d. Colin Hazleton (MV) 6-1, 2-6, 6-2; Ben White (BER) d. Billy Hotaling (MON) 6-4, 6-4; Jack Habeeb (SP) d. Christian Badamo (MMI) 6-0, 6-1
Maiocco (WW) d. Kelly (SP) 6-0, 6-0; Possanza (VV) d. Demers (HON) 7-5, 6-0; Ziegler (SEM) d. Sica (TUN) 6-3, 6-3; Toussaint (DAL) d. Jennings (RIV) 6-2, 6-1; Gregory (HC) d. DeRome (DAL) 2-6, 6-3, 6-4; Kocin (HR) d. Corma (WW) 6-0, 6-2; Lumia (SEM) d. Creedon (RIV) 6-1, 2-6, 6-2; Habeeb (SP) d. White (BER) 6-0, 6-1
Maiocco (WW) d. Possanza (VV) 6-0, 6-3; Ziegler (SEM) d. Toussaint (DAL) 2-6, 7-5, 6-4; Kocin (HR) d. Gregory (HC) 6-2, 6-2; Habeeb (SP) d. Lumia (SEM) 6-0, 6-1
District 2-4 Class 3A Singles
Ty Jackson (WIL) d. Josh Danna (NP) 6-0, 6-0; Brandon Krupa (CRE) d. Nico Pugliese (WS) 6-4, 6-3; Charlie Washburn (WAL) d. Aiden Temple (WVW) 6-2, 6-1; Matt Costello (PA) d. John Squatrito (WAL) 6-2, 6-1; Julian Lacoste (CRE) d. Blake Sphabmixay (WS) 6-4, 7-5; Chris Kovalick (HAZ) d. Eric Wolfe (NP) 6-2, 6-1
Tomas Reese (DV) d. Jackson (WIL) 6-4, 6-1; Drew Gemmell (HAZ) d. Krupa (CRE) 6-1, 6-1; Nick Harth (PA) d. Niatik Butani (SCR) 6-1, 6-0; Owen Holland (AH) d. Washburn (WAL) 6-1, 6-2; Kevin Zheng (WIL) d. Costello (PA) 6-1, 6-2; Nick Bazadona (WVW) d. Lacoste (CRE) 6-2, 6-1; Abhay Byadgi (DV) d. Jack Joyce (SCR) 6-0, 6-1; Timmy Christman (AH) d. Kovalick (HAZ) 6-2, 6-1
Reese (DV) d. Gemmell (HAZ) 6-4, 6-1; Harth (PA) d. Holland (AH) 0-6, 6-1, 6-2; Zheng (WIL) d. Bazadona (WVW) 6-1, 6-1; Christman (AH) d. Byadgi (DV) 6-1, 6-1
Reach Times Leader sports at 570-829-7143 or on Twitter @TLsports