Bill Kingston builds his Moorestown tennis teams like pyramids, with a wide base.
The foundation for the top-ranked Quakers this season, like so many others, is a pair of talented double teams.
The first doubles team of senior Mike Schwartz and junior Matt Holzinger and the second doubles team of senior Justin Wisniewski and junior Colin Groundwater have led Moorestown to the No. 1 ranking in South Jersey and into contention for the program's 13th state title.
Top doubles play is nothing new for Moorestown. Just last season, the Quakers had the best doubles team in South Jersey in senior John Pontillo and junior Mike Bass, who went 36-1 and reached the semifinals of the state doubles tournament.
This year, Bass moved to No. 3 singles, where he has been a big factor in the Quakers' success.
But if anything, Moorestown is even stronger in doubles, at least in a broad sense. Both of the Quakers' doubles teams reached the finals of the South Jersey Interscholastic Tournament, the unofficial South Jersey championship.
"In one of my first years coaching, when North Jersey teams dominated the state high school tennis scene, I was amazed by how good some of their doubles teams were," said Kingston, who has been Moorestown's coach for 37 years.
"From that point on, I knew doubles are the key to having a strong team. Singles players come and go; there's little control over that. But developing doubles is more of a constant."
Both doubles teams have 26-2 records. Both will be big factors as the Quakers, the top seed in the South Jersey Group 3 tournament, contend for another sectional title against second-seeded and unbeaten Ocean City on Tuesday.
Moorestown has top singles players in No. 1 Pierce Cooper and No. 2 Brandon Greenwood, as well as Bass at No. 3.
But this time of the season, doubles play is key, and Moorestown ranks with the best teams in the state in producing such consistently talented doubles teams.
"It is fun when all seven players know they are fully involved in whatever success the team may have," Kingston said.
Historic season. Ocean City, which will challenge Moorestown for the South Jersey Group 3 title Tuesday, has fashioned one of the most memorable seasons in the history of the program.
The Red Raiders (19-0) won the Cape-Atlantic American Division title for the first time since 1983. In addition, Ocean City senior Dan Barrus recently became the program's all-time leader in career victories. He has an 83-16 career mark.
Barrus and his freshman brother, Chris, are top singles player who have not lost in team play this season.
Familiar face. Top-seeded Middle Township hopes to beat second-seeded Haddonfield in the South Jersey Group 2 finals Tuesday.
The Panthers are led by coach Matt Gilbert, who played for Haddonfield under current Bulldogs coach Jeff Holman in the early 1990s.
"As a player, Matt was a great hustler and competitor," Holman said. "His work ethic and drive to excel have clearly raised the level of Middle's program."
Fourth time the charm? Lenape and Cherry Hill East will battle for the fourth time this season when they meet Tuesday in the South Jersey Group 4 finals.
Lenape has won the previous three matches by scores of 4-1, 3-2 and 4-1. In the last match, on May 14, Cherry Hill East coach Ralph Ipri was encouraged by the play of No. 2 singles Nikhil Yegya-Raman and No. 3 singles Mike Davis, as well as No. 1 singles Max Rubin.
"We beat them twice last year in the regular season, and they beat us in the [state] tournament," Ipri said. "It won't be easy, but if we play our best tennis at that point, we'll have a chance."