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Sister left behind keeps Cleveland on top

A year off from singles play hasn't diminished the expectations of Cleveland senior Cristin Sammis.

Sammis, who teamed with her sister Ashley to win the Portland Interscholastic League doubles title last season, is unbeaten in singles this year. She upended defending PIL singles champ Momei Qu of Wilson on Thursday to take the favorite's role with the district tournament two weeks away.

'My season's been going really well,' said Sammis, who was second to her sister in singles two years ago. 'Now my goal is to win state.'

Cristin Sammis recently signed a letter of intent to play at North Texas, where her sister plays, and she celebrated with a 7-5, 6-1 victory over Qu.

Sammis said she had a case of nerves early on against Qu, a sophomore, but settled down as the match progressed.

'She's younger than me, and I didn't want to lose my unbeaten season,' Sammis said. 'Once I won the first set, I relaxed.'

Sammis, who is 5-3 against Qu in high school and junior tournaments, beat Julia Strong of Grant 6-2, 6-4 on Friday.

Sammis' play has helped Cleveland remain unbeaten as a team. The Warriors' final challenge comes Wednesday against Benson.

BOYS GOLF: Grant coach John Gailey is getting strong play from his team as the Generals defend their PIL title, and he is focusing his players on a run at the state championship.

Led by seniors Ben Shane and Ben Putka, Grant won the Bend Invitational two weeks ago and finished seven strokes out of the lead at the Beaverton Invitational. The Generals are unbeaten in league duals and won the mid-district tournament. Senior John Tomlison and sophomores Scott Wall and Drew Hastings round out the varsity scorers.

Now the trick is to get the players to perform well at state.

'I'm working on getting them mentally prepared,' Gailey said. 'Every round, I'm after them to find where they can save one or two strokes for the team.'

The state tournament will be played at Langdon Farms in Aurora, where Raun Atkinson of Grant tied for the state title two years ago.

GIRLS GOLF: Jesuit is poised to return to state after a two-year absence and figures to be a contender once it gets there. Senior Tracy Hancock is a three-time veteran of the tournament and finished sixth as a sophomore.

Junior Catherine Maletis, sophomore Shalene Rhodes and freshman Molly Boyle have kept Jesuit battling with Glencoe for the Metro League title. Last season, St. Mary's won both the Metro and state titles.

'We have a very tough league,' coach Kathleen Birrell said. 'And it's only getting stronger. The coaches in the league are putting a lot of time in making their teams stronger.'

BASEBALL: Parkrose handed Central Catholic its first league loss last week, rallying from a 5-1 deficit to win 10-7 and getting a complete game from senior Brandon Currie.

Parkrose can play its way back into the Mount Hood Conference playoff race with wins this week. The Broncos, two games out of fourth in the conference, play Centennial today, Reynolds on Wednesday and David Douglas on Friday.

Pitcher Daniel Grierson and second baseman Alex Dekay are leading Parkrose's strong sophomore class.

In the PIL, Madison or Lincoln will take another key step toward a state playoff berth when they meet Wednesday at Lincoln.

Lincoln suffered its first league loss Friday against Grant, but that only dropped the Cardinals to second place, a game behind Franklin, which survived a 16-11 slugfest with the Senators.

Lincoln won its first game with Madison.

SOFTBALL: Wilson, Franklin, Cleveland and Benson have established themselves as the top teams through the first half of the season. Fifth-place Grant can get back into the playoff chase with a win over Benson on Wednesday.

TRACK & FIELD: Franklin plays host to Benson on Wednesday. Last season, the Franklin girls were strong enough to beat the state title-bound Techsters as part of a four-way meet. This year, it's a dual.

Most of the PIL's top performers will be at Centennial High on Saturday for the Centennial Invitational.

LIGHTING UPDATE: The plan to install lighting around the football fields at Cleveland, Marshall and Roosevelt has hit a pair of snags Ñ money and permits Ñ that may push the overall project completion date into October.

PIL Athletic Director Greg Ross said the permits for the projects were considerably more expensive than anticipated. And the district had to hire someone to fill out the forms because they are so complex.

'With all the permits, we found we didn't have enough money,' Ross said. 'So we're working on ideas to solve that problem.'

The district is using a $400,000 fund set up through a partnership with the city and Portland Family Entertainment. Ross hopes the Portland school board will approve the lighting plan at its meeting May 11, which would lead to a three-month period of public approval. Work could begin after that.

'We're still hopeful the work can be done in time for football season, but it's looking more like it'll be done later than that,' he said. 'If it gets done toward the end of the season, that's still all right, too.'

Contact Cliff Pfenning at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..