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SportsHigh SchoolBadminton

Lindenhurst’s Will Flohr, Half Hollow Hills West’s Connie He win individual badminton titles

Lindenhurst's Will Flohr competes in the boys individuals

Lindenhurst's Will Flohr competes in the boys individuals at the Suffolk badminton championships, held on May 20, 2016. Photo Credit: Richard T. Slattery

Will Flohr’s chance to steal momentum was as small as the hole in his opponent’s badminton racket, but he didn’t falter.

The Lindenhurst senior was down by a game when Aiden Lee of Half Hollow Hills West broke his racket on a smash with the scored tied at 7 in the second game.

Flohr won the next point and jumped ahead to win the game by five. He went on a 4-0 run in the third game on the way to beating Lee, 12-15, 15-10, 15-6, to win the Suffolk boys singles championship Friday at Smithtown West High School.

“It didn’t come easy, I worked hard for it all year,” Flohr said, recalling 5 a.m. wake-up calls, two-a-days and night practices. “I was hitting good, smashing . . .that’s my game plan, try to get them tired so they miss-hit. I target the backhand most of the time and I hit it all over the court and made him run.”

Lindenhurst coach Gustave Karagrozis said Flohr has an impressive vertical leap from volleyball and it translates well to badminton.

He added his doubles team of Shaurya Patel and Jerry Matovsky, who won the county boys doubles title with a 15-11, 15-8 win over Hills East’s Jeremy Tuchinsky and Ryan Lelis, are also volleyball players and used their quickness well on defense.

“Semifinals match they were down 2-11 in Game 3, so the pressure was on them,” Karagrozis said of his doubles team.

Added Patel: “They were the only team that beat us in the regular season so we knew it was going to be a tough game, but we stepped up. It just means so much.”

Hills West’s He wins girls singles crown

Connie He knew that her school was guaranteed a champion when she and her Half Hollow Hills West teammate, Kara Rofe, reached the final, but the senior wanted the crown.

He placed her shots seemingly at will and kept an even composure as she beat Kara Rofe, 11-0, 11-1, to win the Suffolk girls singles championship.

“It’s a really great experience because last year I got third,” He said, adding that she hasn’t lost a set this season.

“I think I was able to smash a lot and make her move around the court. I hate playing my own teammate because I feel bad, but we play at practice a lot so I know her strengths and weaknesses. I’ve been on the team for four years and I can’t think of a better way to end my season.”

Pat-Med’s Ma and Chan take doubles

Patchogue-Medford’s Joanna Ma and Julia Chan won the Suffolk girls doubles title with a 12-15, 15-13, 15-8 win over Commack’s Sam Miller and Sam Bouchard. The Pat-Med pair often extended volleys and got better as time went on, notably taking a 10-6 lead in the third game and following through for the win.

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