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Brookhaven 4.0 men capture district title

JACKSON – It was a successful title defense for the 4.0Brookhaven men’s tennis team. Captained by Richard Panzica, theSouthwest team won five matches over the weekend to win the USAAdult League Mississippi District Championships.

Brookhaven advances to the Southern Sectional in Louisville,Ky., July 19-28.

“We are on that top edge (of 4.0),” said Brookhaven team memberStan Winborne. “We have a good group of guys who work hardtogether.”

Brookhaven played five matches in four days, starting lastThursday. Brookhaven won the first two matches 4-1, beating Coastand Pine Belt. Starkville was defeated 3-2 in the third match. OnSaturday, Brookhaven beat Jackson 4-1. On Sunday, Panzica’s teambeat Scott Joyner’s Jackson team 3-2.

“It was a team effort. We had a bunch of heroes,” saidWinborne.

Each match included three doubles and and two singlesmatches.

Panzica, Winborne, Dennis Sims, Tim Johnson, Mitch Rayborn,Kevin Rayborn, Ryan Brownhill, Michael Gates, Chad Oberschmidt,Chad Fleming and Johnny Ott compose the Brookhaven squad..

Brownhill went undefeated in 5 singles matches. Mitch Raybornalso went 5-0 in singles.

“We declared Mitch our MVP and he pulled us through,” saidWinborne.

In the finals, every match on Sunday was finished exceptRayborn’s singles duel. The teams were tied 2-2.

Rayborn pulled out the match in a sweat-soaked tie-breaker 10-7.”He was down but he was unwilling to die,” said Winborne.

“We are looking forward to our return trip to Louisville,” saidWinborne. “Now we know where all the best restaturants arelocated.”