No.1 seed Wildcats defeat Kerman by three

The Taft High boys’ varsity tennis team will be in the Valley finals for the second year in a row after beating Kerman, 6-3, Thursday in a Valley semifinal match.

Taft, seeded No. 1 and 22-4 overall, won in the singles round, 5-1, over the 14-4 fifth-seeded Lions.   

“All six Taft players played well in singles and Chuy Gutierrez played exceptionally well in singles and doubles,” coach Jim Carnal said.

Kerman’s Ismael “Jr.” Cubillos beat Rafa Arreguin, 6-0, 6-4. But it was all Taft after that.

Number 2 Chuy Gutierrez beat Aviel Salcedo, 6-3, 6-2. Cameron Bunch beat sophomore Taylor Yates, 6-3, 6-2. Cristo Miranda beat junior John Castellanos, 6-4, 6-0. In a battle of juniors, Kyler Fields outlasted Gurisher Rai, 6-2, 6-4. Isaiah Sharp beat Paramvir Toor, 6-1, 6-1.

Taft won the match 5-1 after singles so the teams played eight-game pro sets for the doubles matches.

Kerman’s Cubillos and Salcedo thoroughly outplayed Arreguin and Brayan Herrera, 8-1. Taft’s Gutierrez and Pastor Magana dominated Yates and Pedro Sauceda, 8-2. Kerman’s No. 6 Toor and No. 8 Julio Melendez beat No. 9 Rogelio Santiago and No. 12 Christian Mendez, 8-5.

In the other semifinal match, Immanuel beat Chowchilla, 6-3.

Taft will host the Eagles at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Valley finals.