By Josh Brown
TROY — Philip Brumbaugh had never beaten the reigning sectional champion, Springfield Shawnee’s Daniel Detrick.
Nick and Nathan Brumbaugh hadn’t played in a sectional final before.
It was a day of firsts for the three Milton-Union Bulldogs, as Philip won a singles title and Nick and Nathan won the doubles crown at the Division II sectional tennis tournament finals Saturday at Troy Community Park.
Philip, the No. 1 seed, began the day by defeating Yellow Springs’ Forrest Rowe — who had upset fourth-seeded Ben Heath from Cedarville on Friday — 6-0, 6-0, and No. 2 Detrick beat Lehman’s third-seeded Griffin West 6-0, 6-1 to begin the day to set up the title match.
After pulling away to win the first set 6-3, Philip trailed Detrick 4-3 in the second before winning back-t0-back games to put himself in position to close the match out on his own serve. He won two quick points, served up a booming ace and then got Detrick to hit one final return into the net, holding at love to win 6-4.
“It was the first time (I’d beaten him),” Philip said. “I don’t know, I’ve just been working over the winter a lot, stopped playing basketball to focus on tennis more. And I had a pretty successful season this year, so I came in feeling pretty good. So I just think I was more prepared this year. Not that I haven’t been other years, but I just feel like I’ve gotten a lot better.”
Philip was third in the sectional in singles as a freshmen, then he doubled up to win sectional titles the next two seasons — going to state with teammate and brother Matt as a sophomore and then going to district with Logan Dickison last season. Saturday was Philip’s first singles title.
“I’m pretty happy with that,” he said. “Our district is pretty tough, and if you don’t go in with a No. 1 seed, you get matched up with some crazy kid. Going in as a No. 1 gives me a lot better chance of getting a good draw.”
“We had a good day today, they all played well,” Milton-Union coach Roger Davidson said. “Philip had a really good day. He’s been playing real well this last couple weeks, and hopefully it carries over to next week.”
West, meanwhile, lost to Rowe 6-3, 3-6, 6-0 in the consolation final and will take a No. 4 seed into the district tournament.
Nick and Nathan Brumbaugh — a sophomore and freshman, respectively and the top-seeded doubles team — defeated Yellow Springs Knemeyer and Villa-Coronado 6-3, 6-0 in the semifinal to move on and face second-seeded Kelly and Brougher from Catholic Central for the sectional title.
After a slow start, the Brumbaughs won the first set 6-3 and built a comfortable lead in the second set — a lead that disappeared as the opposition forced a tiebreaker. Nick and Nathan got behind in that early, as well, before settling down and putting away the second set 7-6 (7-4).
“It feels good,” Nathan said. “It’s a good accomplishment. We got real tight late in that second set and couldn’t close it. We got down in the tiebreaker, so we just had to focus on keeping it in and finishing.”
“It’s a lot better than being a No. 4 seed,” Nick said. “We just want to play our best next week.”
“They were really tight finishing that match,” Davidson said. “They’ve only played a few weeks together, Nathan’s a freshman and Nick’s a sophomore. Nick didn’t make it out of the sectional last year — I think he got beat by half of that Catholic Central team last year — so they were a little nervous. They’re young.
“The level of play will change next Thursday, but they did pretty well today. We’ll see what happens. It’s all about the draw now.”
The district tournament will begin Thursday at the ATP Tennis Center in Mason.
Contact Josh Brown at (937) 552-2132, or follow @TroyDailySports on Twitter.