Moorestown's Allen hoping for an encore
Last year, he clinched the Quakers' Group 3 state tennis championship.
A year ago, Gabe Allen clinched Moorestown's victory in the Group 3 state finals in boys' tennis with a victory at No. 3 singles.
Today, Allen has a different role, but he's hoping for the same result.
"That was probably my most memorable experience in tennis," said Allen, who clinched the victory over Millburn in last year's state championship.
Now a junior, Allen is Moorestown's No. 1 singles player. He will lead the Quakers into the state semifinals against Northern Highlands at 11 a.m. today at Mercer County Park.
With a victory, Moorestown will meet the Millburn-Princeton winner in this afternoon's state finals, set for 3 o'clock.
Moorestown coach Bill Kingston said Allen "made a breakthrough" with a 6-1, 6-1 victory over Pinelands' highly touted Chris Worosz in Monday's South Jersey Group 3 finals.
"He's played most of the top players in the state," Kingston said of Allen. "He's lost a lot of close matches. But I think he's figuring it out."
Moorestown (26-5) will also rely on its strong doubles teams of Mike DeAngelis and John Pontillo and Michael Bass and Brandon Greenwood, as well as T.J. Riley at No. 2 singles and Drew Shreter at No. 3.
Tim McMahon, at No. 1 singles, leads Haddonfield (29-3) into this morning's Group 2 state semifinals, against Pascack Valley, at 9 o'clock.
"We have to play at a higher level," Haddonfield coach Jeff Holman said, referring to his team's 4-1 victory over Middle Township in Monday's sectional final. "Tim McMahon played good tennis, but the rest of the team really has to step up."
St. Augustine (22-1) will defend its Non-Public A title against Delbarton at 1 p.m. Chas Berenato leads the Hermits at No. 1 singles.
Cherry Hill East (22-2) will face Ridgewood at 11 a.m. in the Group 4 state semifinals, and Sacred Heart will meet Dwight Englewood at 1 p.m. in the Non-Public B state finals.