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Gil Bagang reaches for a shot as James Montgomery backed him up.

WILLIAMSBURG—When you are playing the top ranked team in the region, you want to make sure to limit your errors as much as possible.

North Laurel’s James Montgomery and Gil Bagang found that out Saturday, falling to Brody Freeman and Lee Crawford of Corbin in the boys’ doubles finals, 6-1, 6-1.

“We just didn’t convert our opportunities early in the match,” Coach Bobby Smith said. “If we could have converted early on, we could have made things interesting. But we just made too many errors and doubles faults, and you just can’t do that against such a quality team.”

North Laurel broke Crawford’s serve in the third game of the first set to trail 2-1, and were leading 30-0 in the fourth game with a chance to tie the match at 2-2. But Bagang double faulted twice in the game, when his shot sailed long, Corbin held a 3-1 lead. The Jaguar duo could never recover, and lost the first set, 6-1.

Things went pretty much the same in the second set, with the Corbin team rolling 6-1 to take the title in two straight sets.

Afterwards, Smith said that his team knew they didn’t play their best, and that was frustrating to them.

“James told me he could handle losing if he had played well,” Smith said. “But you have to give credit to Corbin. They can force you into trying to make great shots.”

Smith said that his team has now finished runner-up or tied for runner-up for the fourth straight year, and that he was very proud of the boys for this accomplishment.

“James and Gil played tremendous tennis this week to advance to the final of the doubles draw,” Smith said. “But we’re happy as can be with the tournament on the whole in that they qualified for the state tournament. Gil got to go last year in singles, and this will be James’ first trip. And I’m so happy for that young man because he has worked his butt off since the last point of last year’s regional tournament to make a state tournament trip a reality. We’re really looking forward to heading to Lexington and competing. And we’ll make sure that we enjoy every second of the state tournament experience.”

The duo will take on the 5th Region runner-up team from Elizabethtown, Samad Faheem and Hunter Hazle on Thursday at the UK tennis complex in Lexington. They will play at 1 p.m.



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