PUEBLO — Brett Finan was not going to let history repeat itself. The Peak to Peak junior made to the Class 4A No. 1 singles final a year ago, only to fall short against an opponent from Kent Denver.
Saturday morning, he was standing on the same court. With the same opportunity. Against an opponent wearing the same colors as the one that defeated him.
Final wanted something different. And he got it.
He came away with a 6-3, 6-3 win over Kent's Jack Moldenhauer to win the No. 1 singles title in convincing fashion.
"It feels good," Finan said. "It's good to get a state championship under my belt. I'm definitely excited."
He didn't want to leave himself any doubt that he could do it. So he got the tone of the match set early. He broke Moldenhauer's serve in the first game of the match, trying to establish control while putting the Kent Denver senior on his heels.
"I needed to get the break coming out to get it going," Finan said.
He held his serve to go up 2-0 and eventually took a 3-1 lead, ending the third game on a thunderous ace, further establishing that this match was his for the taking.
Moldenhauer was eventually able to break Finan and hold his serve to get in a little bit of a groove. But the early struggles proved to be tough to climb back from.
"I may have been a little nervous at the beginning," Moldenhauer said. "I tried not to let it rattle me. He played really well."
Finan took the first set 6-3 and kept the match going on cruise control, winning the second set by the same score and giving Peak to Peak some bragging rights for the next year.
In the team race, that match was actually one of many dominos that needed to fall if Colorado Academy was going to have a chance at the team title.
The Mustangs trailed by four points heading into Saturday's finals. They needed a win in No. 1 singles consolation, a loss from Moldenhauer and four wins in the six head-to-head finals matchups.
But Kent Denver didn't become a four-time consecutive champion by not performing well on the final day.
The Sun Devils claimed four championship wins, one more than needed, to come away with a fifth-straight 4A boys tennis title.
The win for the No. 2 doubles team of Coby Gold and Alex Baum clinched the team title for the Sun Devils, beating Colorado Academy's Nicholas Dietrich and Nicholas Pulido.
"All of us on the team were thinking about it a lot," Baum said. "It's always a clash between us and CA. It's such a pleasure playing them. We just had to stay focused on our serves and stay consistent."
A team victory wasn't going to come as easy for Kent as it had in years past. Overall, the Sun Devils lost in both the No. 1 and No. 2 singles finals. The first match of the day ended with Colorado Academy taking the No. 3 doubles title.
The Mustangs won a dual match over Kent earlier in the year, so there was no question that the Sun Devils had to be at their best on Saturday.
"This year, CA beat us in that dual match early, so people who knew (about it) knew that CA was very capable," Kent coach Randy Ross said. "But this team really rose to the moments, especially on the lower end."
Now with nine boys state titles, Kent Denver sits at the fourth-most in state history.