In terms of drama, it would be tough to beat Towson High’s 6-5 triumph over archrival Dulaney in the 2013 Baltimore County badminton championship, considering archrivals Towson and Dulaney were tied, 5-5, with one game remaining to decide the outcome.
It almost ended earlier, at least until Towson’s Michael Jiang faced off against Ari Wu with the Lions ahead, 5-4. Wu had beaten Jiang earlier in the season, but Jiang prevailed, 15-8, 15-4, to tie the match, 5-5.
The final match played featured the No. 2 girls doubles, Jessie Hu and Ivy Li of Dulaney against Towson’s Yucong Shi and Tiffany Zhang.
Shi and Zhang took the first game, 15-7, and were leading in the second, 12-6, when the Lions stormed back to tie it, 14-14. Towson scored 3 points to win, 17 -14, to claim its sixth title in eight years and snap the Lions’ two-year reign at the top.
The individual and doubles championships will be held this weekend.
“I’ve been coaching since 2002, and this is the most thrilling game I’ve been a part of,” Towson coach Cary Sonneborn said. “We once defeated Catonsville, 6-5 in a regular season game, but a game of this magnitude has never been this close.”
And that was after the Generals were humiliated by the Lions during the regular season.
“After that loss, we all agreed to work harder in order to see them again and show we could compete,” he said. “The hard work paid off and although we weren’t sure we could win, we knew we would have a better showing.”
Towson’s boys swept all three singles behind No. 1 Benson Sebastian, who defeated Mitch Lannon 15-3, 15-7. Jiang took the No. 2 matchup while Mitchel Betenbaugh defeated Wil Paranzino, 17-16, 15-12, at No. 3.
Towson’s boy’s doubles also when Jong Suk and Luke Walker lost the first game, 15-17, to Jacob Ham and Steven Zhang and then staged a fierce comeback, 15-9, 15-6, the final two games. Towson’s No. 2 boys doubles, Ray Fu and Leo Lei topped Hojin Yoon and Anton Posharskiy, 17-16, 15-9
On the girls side, Dulaney’s singles dominated.
The Lions’ No. 1 doubles team of Jessica Hung and Anna Vuong came back to win, 17-15, over Towson’s Anneliese Feldman and Sweekriti Kharel in the first game and took the second, 15-3. Dulaney also won the mixed double’s contest.