PHS senior Dawson Beckstead battled back from a first-round loss to take four straight and win the consolation championship at the Special District 2 tournament in Salem. (Photo by Brad Fuqua/Philomath News)

A trip back to state would’ve been sweet to cap off the high school tennis career of Philomath High senior Dawson Beckstead but a tough draw in the first round ended up as a three-set loss and the team’s No. 1 singles player needed to regroup.

Beckstead did just that and finished out the 4A/3A/2A/1A Special District 2 boys tennis tournament on a tear with four straight victories in the consolation rounds. In Friday’s consolation championship match, he defeated Estacada junior Kyle Richards, 6-1, 6-2.

Beckstead rolled through his earlier consolation bracket matches, which were played with eight-game pro-set rules. He defeated North Marion junior Angel Contreras, 8-0; Molalla junior Allen Simental, 8-3; and Philomath sophomore Jackson Rice, 8-1.

Beckstead was the only PHS player still competing on the final day of the tournament, which started Tuesday at Crescent Valley in Corvallis and then moved to the Salem Tennis and Swim Club Thursday and Friday.

Subdistrict newcomer Marist Catholic took the team title in convincing fashion with 50 points to Cascade’s runner-up total of 22. Stayton was third with 16, Philomath fourth with 12 and Molalla fifth with 11.

That first-round loss for Beckstead came against Marist junior Andrew Forsyth, 7-6 (7-4), 5-7, 6-2. Forsyth went on to reach the semifinals to qualify for state. Cascade senior Zach Moore won the championship match over Marist freshman EJ Roedl, 6-3, 6-3.

Philomath’s top doubles team of senior Teddy Benbow and junior Sawyer Ainsworth advanced through the first two rounds with wins of 6-4, 6-4 over a Marist team and 6-0, 6-0 over an Estacada pair. That set up a showdown against Stayton’s Liam Rutherford and Jake Anderson with the winner reaching the semifinals and clinching one of four spots headed to state.

Benbow and Ainsworth had the advantage early but the Stayton team found its footing and ended up with the victory, 3-6, 6-0, 6-4.

Top-seeded Jack Kiefer and Peyton Turner of Marist won the doubles championship with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over teammates Sam Thorton and Henry Gonyea.

Philomath’s doubles team of junior Gradin Fairbanks and freshman Lane Schell advanced past the first round with a 6-3, 6-3 win over a Stayton pair. But they lost in the second round to Cascade’s Benjamin Heinze and Andrew Suelzle, 6-0, 6-0.

Junior Osvaldo Garcia-Bazan and sophomore Jackson Holroyd lost in the opening round to a Stayton opponent, 6-3, 6-4. In consolations, they took an 8-6 win over a Cascade team before losing in the semifinals to a Molalla pair.

Sophomore Ethan Aynes and freshman Johnny Pickett lost a tough one in the first round to a Cascade team, 7-6, 2-6, 6-1. The PHS pair came back in consolations to defeat a Molalla pair, 8-4, before falling in the consolation semis to another Molalla team, 8-0.

In singles, junior Andrew Leonard opened with a 6-0, 6-2 win over Estacada’s Richards before falling to Marist freshman and No. 3-seeded Kai Villano, 6-2, 6-1. Junior Owen Thomas also won in the first round with a 6-1, 6-0 victory over a Stayton opponent. In the second round, he lost 6-0, 6-0 to Marist’s Roedl, who went on to finish as the runner-up.

Rice came up short in his first match against a Marist opponent, 7-6, 6-3. In the consolation bracket, he defeated opponents from Estacada (8-0) and North Marion (8-0) before going up against Beckstead in the semis.

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