PUEBLO - Peak to Peak's Brett Finan looked across the net and saw a familiar opponent.
One of them was going to get a shot at a state title, while the other's dream of championship gold would come to an early end.
Niwot's Matthew Chavez guessed that he and Finan had played each other about five or six times at various tournaments through the year. So there was no doubt that they knew each other well.
But Friday, with a chance to advance to the Class 4A boys state tennis finals, it was Finan who battled just a bit harder, coming away with a 7-6 (1), 4-6, 6-2 win in a match that drew the attention of a large crowd at Pueblo City Park.
"It was a long match," Finan said. "It was my second long match of the tournament and I'm just really tired."
He needs to get rested pretty fast. Awaiting him in the final is Kent Denver's Casey Ross, who is going for his fourth singles tennis championship.
So while he knew that rest was going to be in his immediate future, he may have the toughest task awaiting him once the finals begin Saturday at 9 a.m.
"I'm going to have to play out of my mind," he admitted.
So in order to get him back in that mindset, Peak to Peak coach Eric Farran knew that for the rest of the day on Friday, Finan's mind had to be on something other than tennis.
"We're going to have some fun, probably get him swimming," Farran said. "And then I'll gear him up. I'll pick my spot. Maybe over dinner or sometime tomorrow morning."
If he can mentally stay in the match the way he did against Chavez on Friday, he'll have a good shot against Ross.
Finan had his back against the wall early, facing three set-points from Chavez in the first set. He was able to overcome it and take the set in a tie-breaker.
Chavez came out fired up in the second set, winning 6-4 before running out of steam in the third and deciding set.
"(I wish) I had a little more left in the tank," Chavez said. "I left it all out there, but I wish I could've made more balls and made less errors. He played good, I have to give it to Brett."
All is not lost for Niwot, however as Riley Black topped Aspen's Alex Ilic 6-3, 6-0 to advance to the No. 3 singles final.
Elsewhere, Dawson began to turn some its fortunes around after not advancing any positions to Friday's semifinals.
After reflecting on what went wrong for them on Thursday, the Mustangs came back and were able to advance to third-place matches in No. 2 and No. 4 doubles.
"Last night was pretty depressing," freshman Carter Holbrook said. "I did not play my best in my match. I believe we just bounced back with all of our bad vibes just turning into good vibes."
The lone Silver Creek semifinalist team of Jake Fuhrman and Justin Thompson lost to Kent Denver's Alex Wimer and Oliver Greenwald 6-0, 6-0 in No. 2 doubles.
Saturday's finals will be highlighted by the battle between Finan and Ross. It is the first time the two players will be meet on the tennis court.
Class 4A boys state tennis championship
At Pueblo City Park
Team scores — 1Kent Denver 73, Colorado Academy 64, Niwot 38, Aspen 31, Peak to Peak 15, Dawson 13, Lewis-Palmer 11, Valor Christian 8, Evergreen 8, Silver Creek 6.
Dawson results: No. 3 singles - Carter Holbrook def. Danny Geisz, (Cheyenne Mountain) 6-4, 6-4; Jordan Wagner (Colorado Academy) def. Holbrook 7-6, 5-7, 7-5.
No. 1 Doubles - Gavyn Pure/Finn Jones def. CJ Fryberger/Kaden Randolph (Longmont) 6-1 6-3; Chapin Schott/Jonathan Hertel (Valor Christian) def. Pure/Jones 7-5 6-3.
No. 2 Doubles - Cade McClellan/Seth Clemente def. Teddy Evans/Jon Woodward (Evergreen) 6-3 6-1; McClellan/Clemente def. Jake Fuhrman/Justin Thompson (Silver Creek) 6-0, 6-2.
No. 4 Doubles - Ryan Otto/Cam Cramer def. Nathan Bush/Dylan DeGraff (Aspen) 6-0 6-2; Otto/Cramer def. Landon Lees/Aeneas DeLuca (Thompson Valley) 6-4, 2-6, 6-4.
No. 1 Doubles - Gavyn Pure/Finn Jones (Dawson) def. CJ Fryberger/Kaden Randolph 6-1 6-3.
No. 1 Singles - Brett Finan def. Matt Chavez 7-6, 4-6, 6-2; Chavez def. Daniel Guiot, Jr., (George Washington) 6-3, 6-4.
No. 2 Singles - Cadan Kammerer def. Teo Cariov (Peak to Peak) 6-4, 6-4; Kammerer def. Tom Hudson (D'Evelyn) 4-6, 6-4, 6-4.
No. 3 Singles - Riley Black def. Alex Ilic (Aspen) 6-3 6-0.
No 2. Doubles - Zachary Brinker/Caleb Aguirre (Colorado Academy) def. Riley Mulshine/Cruz Culpepper 6-4 6-4; Mulshine/Culpepper def. David Zalinski/Jonah Kelley (Aspen) 6-1 6-4.
No. 3 Doubles - Isaiah Dawid/Garrett Rademacher (Lewis-Palmer) def. Sam Bickham/Andrew Thomas 6-4 6-0; Christopher Gregory/George Ghali (Aspen) def. Bickham/Thomas 7-5, 6-0.
Peak to Peak results:
No. 1 Singles - Brett Finan def. Matt Chavez (Niwot) 7-6, 4-6, 6-2.
No. 2 Singles - Cadan Kammerer (Niwot) def. Teo Cariov 6-4, 6-4.
Silver Creek results:
No. 3 Singles - Tanner Colson (Lewis-Palmer) def. Michael Nagus 6-2, 6-3.
No. 2 Doubles - Alex Wimer/Oliver Greenwald, Kent Denver def. Jake Fuhrman/Justin Thompson 6-0, 6-0; Cade McClellan/Seth Clemente (Dawson) def. Fuhrman/Thompson 6-2, 7-5.