Monday’s high school roundup: Westford’s Connor Liona captures state boys tennis championship

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The Sacred Heart commit showed a lot of heart Monday.

Westford Academy senior Connor Liona faced No. 1 overall seed Lochlan Seth, a Newton North ace, in the USTA Massachusetts High School State Individual Championship match at the Longfellow Tennis Club in Wayland.

Seth had yet to lose a set in the tournament, but Liona prevailed by taking the last two sets, 7-5 and 6-3 to capture the title.

It was a triumphant finish to a marathon Monday for Liona, who will play college tennis at Sacred Heart. Liona opened the day with a 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) win over No. 2 seed John Dickens (Milton High School) in Lexington before weather forced the finals to be moved down the road and out of the elements.

He bounced back after Seth broke his serve twice (both coming on lengthy games with the players stuck at deuce) en route to winning the opening set.

“There are always some spots where you can quick-shift the momentum,” Liona told the Boston Herald. “Going into that second set is an opportunity to easily switch the momentum.”

Liona won the opening game and eventually broke Seth’s serve for the first time to win the back-and-forth second. The final set began as another tight one, but Liona would break Seth’s serve again to go up 4-2 and ultimately seize control of the match.

He stayed on an even keel to close it out and win the first individual state tennis tournament since the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I used to get too up (when things were going well), be really up, and then I would just try to kill the ball. Then I’m trying too hard,” Liona said. “It’s focusing on every point, bringing it back to my median.”

“In the third set, I think I dropped like one or two points on my serve. When the serve is going, when I’m getting first serves in, I’m in control of the point all of the time,” Liona said. “I know where the ball is going to go. I know my patterns … I know what’s going to happen next.”

He ruled a 64-player field as the No. 4 seed.


Lowell boys sixth: The Lowell boys captured sixth at the MIAA Division 1 Track & Field Championships in Westfield with 36 points.

Junior Khai Yin won the 110-meter high hurdles with a new school record time of 14.19 to pace the Red Raiders.

Sophomore Ethan Thevenin placed third in the long jump with a jump of 22 feet, 6.25 inches and took sixth sixth in the 400 meters with a time of 49.90.

Junior Raymond Dafe, junior Alex Rodgers, sophomore James Kelly and junior Abdul Jalloh placed fourth in the boys 4×800 meter relay in 7:58.49. Freshman Joshua Amankwaah, junior Samuel Ansah, sophomore Anthony Perez Jr. and sophomore Denzel Kisekka placed fifth in the 4×100 relay in 42.96.

Jalloh took fifth in the 800 in 1:57.28. Rodgers placed seventh in the 800 in 1:58.36. Junior Stevens Antoine claimed seventh in the shot put with a throw of 49-0.

G-D soars: Groton-Dunstable girls 4×800 relay team set a new school record at the MIAA Division 4 Track & Field Championship as the Crusaders finished fourth in a blazing time of 10:06.35.

Meghan McEleney placed third in the 800 in 2:19.8 and 11th in the 400 in 1:01.32.

Georgia Brooks was the runner-up in the two mile in 11:20.1 and captured eighth in the mile in 5:18.25.

Finishing sixth were Hannah Mandell in the javelin (102-01) and Charlotte Woodbury in the pole vault (8-6). Allegra Gutermann earned seventh in the high jump (5-0). Eliana Lothrop claimed 10th in the long jump (16-6.75).

On the boys side, Zak Metzger (4:25.91) and Greyson Duane (4:27.51) finished 10th and 11th, respectively, in the mile. Duane was 14th in the 800 (2:00.4).

Metzger placed eighth in the two mile in 9:49.86, while John Terhune was 14th in 10:09.51. In the pole vault, James Picucci took ninth (10-6).

NT duo shine: Nashoba Tech sophomore Tristan McDermott placed fourth in the long jump at the MIAA Division 1 Track & Field Championship at Westfield State College with a jump of 21 feet, 2.5 inches.

McDermott will compete in the decathlon championships June 3-4. This was the second medal for McDermott, as he finished fifth in the 200 on Thursday.

On the girls side, freshman Destanee Soba finished 11th in the 100-meter dash with a time of 12.91.


Gloucester 9, Wilmington 0: It was a frustrating defeat as the Wildcats fell in the championship game of the 21st annual Dick Scanlon Memorial Day Tournament.

Wilmington (9-11) came up one win short of qualifying for the state tournament. Eight seniors played their last games for WHS – captain Austin Harper, Brian Banks, Eric Spinney, Mike Dynan, Jacob Doherty, Nolan Joyce, Noah Spencer and Burke Zimmer.

Collecting singles against Gloucester, which led 7-0 after three innings, were Ayden Balter, Spinney, Harper, Joyce and Banks.

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