Wildcats second despite playing against larger schools, now 13-2 on the season heading into SSL showdown with Bakersfield Christian

 The Taft High varsity boys’ tennis team finished second in Division II of the Lynch Cup tournament and the JV team won its bracket in the West Spring Classic Friday and Saturday.

On Thursday, the varsity and JV teams both shut out Shafter 9-0.

Varsity players Oscar Martinez and Pastor Magana, playing No. 3 doubles, went undefeated in the tournament. The No. 1 doubles team of Matua Iakopo and Brayan Herrera were 3-1. Taft, the only Division IV playing so high in the tournament, beat DII East, 4-2, and DI Frontier 4-2, before falling to undefeated DI Centennial, 4-2. Taft finished with a close 3-3, 8-8 sets, 56-49 games win over DII Tehachapi.

Taft won DII of the Lynch Cup last year but ran into a Centennial team loaded with seniors, coach Jim Carnal said. Still the matches against larger schools left the Wildcats with a 13-2 overall record and helped the Wildcats as they strive for the No. 1 seed in the upcoming Section playoffs. The tournament standings left Taft as the No. 6 school in Kern County behind only Division I schools Stockdale, Liberty, Garces and Centennial and DIII Bakersfield Christian.

Taft’s JV team beat Independence, 6-0, on Friday and host West, 5-1, and Ridgeview, 5-1, on Saturday. The tournament had one other bracket. Liberty, Frontier and South played at host Foothill.

Taft’s varsity team travels to Wasco on Tuesday. Taft, 5-0 in the South Sequoia League, will host 5-0 Bakersfield Christian in a showdown for league supremacy on Thursday.