Nate Champion won a third-set tiebreaker and the Lampasas tennis team won the bi-district championship with an 11-8 win over Decatur on Tuesday in Cleburne.
The Badgers led 9-8 with two matches remaining, needing one more win to clinch the victory.
Champion won the first set, but lost the second and the match went into a tiebreaker. At the time, the Badgers had lost all five of their previous tiebreakers against Decatur, but Champion prevailed 10-6 to send Lampasas to the area round at 1 p.m. Friday against Vernon in Mineral Wells.
“The kids played hard and should be proud,” Lampasas coach Kenneth Peiser said. “As with all sports and life, you have to find a way to persevere through nerves, anxiety, opponents’ skill and surroundings and get the job done.
“Today they did.”
Elias Arellano, who teamed with James Vasquez for a doubles victory earlier, won the remaining match for the final margin.
The Badgers led 4-3 after doubles. Sisters Allison and Abby Valdez won in the No. 1 slot for Lampasas. The Kailr Watson/Aubriana Flores and Amore Zapata/Hannah Durbin pairings gave the Badgers a girls doubles sweep.
The Valdezes added two more points for Lampasas with singles victories. Travis Calk and Vasquez also won to push the Badgers to an 8-3 lead.
Decatur then rallied, aided by four tiebreak wins, including a 13-11 decision against Watson. Zapata also suffered a tough loss — 6-7 (7), 7-6 (7), (10-6).
In the middle of those hard-fought matches, Clements added another point for the Badgers to help keep them in front 9-8 near the finish.