Tate, Barrymore win N-C's 4th straight doubles title

The Newton-Conover doubles tennis dynasty continued for yet another year on Saturday morning at the Cary Tennis Center.

The Red Devil tandem of John Tate and Tyler Barrymore won the school's fourth-straight doubles title in tennis with a straight-sets victory in the championship final.

"Tyler and I knew there wasn't really anyone that could beat us if we played how we know we can, and we did that in the finals against Owen," Tate said. "It was extremely relieving after we won it because second place would have been a huge disappointment to us.

Tate, a senior, and Barrymore, a junior, defeated Owen's Bobby Decker and Eli Hile 6-3, 6-0 in a match that lasted less than an hour.

During their state tournament appearance, Tate and Barrymore lost a total of nine games.

Tate and Barrymore defeated Fredrickson's Garrett Freese and Grant Poupard 6-1, 6-1 in the opening round of the 2A state doubles tournament

The N-C duo followed that up with another 6-1, 6-1 victory against East Davidson's Hunter Mitchell and Victor Finlay in the state quarterfinals.

Tate and Barrymore's semifinal match up with Cuthbertson's Robbie Whitlock and Shaun Howell was moved up to Friday because of the threat of weather.

However, the time change did not slow the two down as they moved into the championship final with a 6-2, 6-0 win against Whitlock and Howell.

The doubles title for Tate is his second-straight. He teamed with Ryan Lampe to win last year's 2A double championship.

Barrymore's doubles title is his first ever.

"It was amazing to carry on the tradition," Barrymore said. "It's very special to be placed among the best players in the 2A state of North Carolina. Hopefully, we can bring the dual team championship home to Newton, also."

Tate and Barrymore join four other teams, including Tate and Lampe (2012), Hang Lak Choi and Lampe (2011) and Will Huggins and Choi (2010) as doubles title winners at Newton-Conover High.

The thrills for Tate and Barrymore don't end on Saturday. The two will try to help lead Newton-Conover to a team title when the dual playoffs resume on Monday.

The Red Devils (19-3) host West Davidson (16-3) in a 4 p.m. third round match for a chance to advance to Wednesday's regional round against either Shelby or Owen.

"Looking ahead to this week, we feel like we have a great chance of beating West Davidson on Monday and getting to the showdown with Shelby on Wednesday," Tate said. "It's going to be a lot of fun."