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Jose GarciaMultimedia Journalist/Historian firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos, notes from state badminton singles, doubles finalsOct 13, 2012
Trailing by nine points and a point away from losing the first set of their state championship match wasn’t Sabrina Martinez and Geneva Heinkel’s biggest issue.
Their bigger obstacle was nervousness. But once the Mountain Pointe badminton doubles partners relaxed on Saturday, they went to work, chipping away at the 14-5 lead Xavier’s Carina Arellano and Meghan Crown had in set No. 1.
Scoring the next five points gave Mountain Pointe some confidence, but Martinez and her partner weren’t satisfied. Despite facing four set points, Mountain Pointe went on to score the next seven points to complete the 12-0 run and win the first set 17-14 at Glendale Independence High.
In the second set, Martinez and Heinkel never trailed en route to a 15-10 win and their first state doubles title.
“We kept telling each other, ‘We got this,” Martinez said. “We weren’t going down without giving (Xavier) a good fight.”
Mountain Pointe fought its way back in set No. 1 thanks to the deep shots it took.
That forced No. 2 seed Xavier to move around more, which is what Mountain Pointe exactly needed to rally.
(Martinez (left) and Heinkel defeated Sunnsylope’s Alisa Turkina and Katee Espericueta in the semifinals Saturday to advance to the doubles final.)
Martinez and Heinkel were the No. 1 seeded team in the Division I state doubles badminton tournament and finished the year with a 16-1 record.
The duo reached the state tournament in the past two seasons but exited in the quarterfinal rounds. This was the second doubles title for the Martinez family.
Martinez’s sister, Sienna, won a doubles titles at Mountain Pointe two seasons ago.
(Mountain Pointe coach Pom Brown (middle) has turned Mountain Pointe into a badminton power. The coach is very modest, but she knows how to turn athletes into badminton stars.)
Mountain Pointe had another player in a final, No. 1 seeded Kiyoko Hashimoto.
Hashimoto faced third-seeded Courtney Foltz of Chaparral in the singles title match at Independence, but there wasn’t as much suspense in this Division I championship match. And this wasn’t Foltz first time in a state final.
She won a doubles title two years ago. The senior showed off her poise and shot making ability from the outset, as she won her match 11-1, 11-1.
“I had so much fun playing this year,” Foltz said. “I’ve never had this much fun playing a match. That played a big part this season and in this (championship) match.”
Foltz finished this year with a 14-1 record this season. The No. 3 seed didn’t win a set in her two previous matches against Hashimoto this season.
Along with Foltz and Hashimoto, Mountain Pointe’s Vashnavi Koka (third place) and Mesquite’s Allison Weber (fourth) also joined the championship podium on Saturday.
Chandler’s Amanjit Bhatti and Jenna Scheeland beat Sunnyslope’s Turkina and Espericueta (far left) 15-11, 5-15, 15-10 to take third place in the doubles state tournament.