Clayton duo grabs Class 1 state doubles crown with win over Principia pair

Clayton duo grabs Class 1 state doubles crown with win over Principia pair
Clayton duo grabs Class 1 state doubles crown with win over Principia pair

By Bill Hester | Special to STLhighschoolsports.com

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The penultimate ambition for an athlete, no matter the level, is to play your best when the most is on the line.

That was the case Saturday for Clayton’s Joe Major and Ruben Haroutounian as they captured the Class 1 state doubles title with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Principia’s Andrew Bosman and Reid Schauman at the Cooper Tennis Complex in Springfield.

The two teams had met for the District 3 doubles title with Major and Haroutounian winning in a third set match tie-breaker after the teams had split sets.

“We had a game plan after playing them before but more than anything we just played good basic tennis today,” said Haroutounian, a freshman. “I think it’s the best we have played all year. “I don’t think we could have played better.”

Principia, which was looking for its first single boys title since Jeff Ohland and Toby Bogard won in doubles in 1985, got off to good starts in each set. Bosman and Schauman won the first game of the match and the first two games of the second set. Principia had a 3-2 lead in the second set before Clayton closed out in style by winning the final four games.

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“The key in doubles is aggressiveness and big serves,” Clayton coach Mark Borst said.

And the Greyhounds have one of the bigger servers, in more ways than one, in 6-foot-6 southpaw Major.

Major was broken for the first and only time in doubles this season Saturday after being up 40-0 but the Greyhounds steady play was the difference.

“We were confident coming into the tournament but I didn’t have any expectations,” said Major, a junior who finished fourth at state with Spencer Pompian as a freshman but did not play in individual state last year. “I was just hoping for the best.”

And Major got the best in high school with the state title.

It was the second year in a row that Clayton has won the Class 1 doubles title. Arnan Poddar and Ismael Robles-Razzaq won in 2023.

The title was the first since 1997 for long-time coach Borst. I have coached a doubles champion that year with the Edwards brothers, Matt and Grant at CBC.

Clayton’s Spencer Pompian advanced to the Class 1 singles championship but fell to Cole Horton of Savannah 6-2, 6-0. There were many deuce games but Horton, who finished his senior season undefeated, won most of the big points. The match was tied 2-2 but Horton finished his career by winning the final 10 games.

St. Louis area players won three of the six individual titles this year after sweeping all six last year.

Priory’s John Varley won Class 1 singles and Ladue’s Aiden Qian and Charles Randall won Class 2 doubles Friday.

The team portion of the state tournament will be played next Friday and Saturday in Springfield. John Burroughs and Francis Howell are in the Class 3 final four. MICDS and Westminster are in from Class 2 and Clayton in Class 1.

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