HERSHEY — Jonah Rebert and Brendan McNamara were meeting for a tennis title for the second time in less than a week.
While Rebert would come out on top again, there was a bit of a different look in Saturday’s District Three Boys Tennis Class 2A championship match at Hershey Racquet Club.
The No. 1-seeded Rebert, who defeated McNamara 7-5, 7-6 (0) for the Lancaster-Lebanon League Class 2A title Monday, appeared more assertive Saturday in posting a 6-1, 6-2 victory.
“I was hurt at the beginning of the year,” said Rebert, who had a pinched nerve in his back. “I had to play through that most of the year and try to manage it, through the season and through leagues, off and on. I had the mind-set once we get indoors, that’s when you can feel it help get your rhythm. I played really well (Friday) and that kind of carried over.
“So yes, I’m playing my best tennis of the year right now.”
It did appear that way, especially in the first set when McNamara, the 2A second seed, seemed to do little wrong but was only able to scratch out the one game.
“I feel like both matches I played pretty well,” said McNamara, who got a test from unseeded Adam Warren of Trinity in the semifinals before winning 7-6 (4), 6-4. “Jonah came out really strong and played really well.
“It was a lot of hard work (in both matches), as many times as I was down, trying to fight back, and try to go back on top, which one worked out well, one didn’t.”
McNamara did have some bobbles in the second set, with some unforced errors and double faults. But finding himself down 5-1, he battled back to win the seventh game and made it difficult before Rebert closed out the match.
“He showed his grit at the end,” Lancaster Catholic coach Mike Cannon said. “It really showed the kind of player he is and he’s not going to stop until the last point’s done.”
“The way Brendan plays, he really tries to take me off my game, take me off my pace and give me a different look,” said Rebert, who coasted to a 6-1, 6-1 win over third-seeded Josh Pantaloni of Camp Hill and lost just five games in the tournament. “But when I keep focusing on that next ball and executing my way ... that’s what really leads me to the victory.”
“He definitely had his mind made up,”said Lancaster Country Day coach Chris Wilson of Rebert. “He wanted this to be his year. He worked hard to make it his year and he’s had a very good run.”
Both players advance to the PIAA tournament, which will be held May 24-25 at Hershey Racquet Club — with the possibility of yet another rematch.
In Class 3A, Dallastown’s Holden Koons won his fourth district title with a 6-0, 6-1 rout of Ben Clary of Palmyra. Clary reached the finals after outlasting Andreas Wingert of Hershey 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in a match that lasted almost three hours.