Los Banos High’s J.T. Barcellos was working on a comeback in the second set of his 6-1, 6-3 loss to Ceres’ Alick Liang in the semifinals of the Western Athletic Conference on Wednesday.
But, with a 3-1 lead in that second set, Barcellos rolled his ankle, which immediately began swelling up.
“It was pretty bad. Everyone was really helpful, but it looked like a tennis ball,” Los Banos coach (and J.T.’s mother) Lynn Barcellos said. “He didn’t want to quit. He wanted to keep playing, but you have to be able to move, especially against someone like that.”
Barcellos only lost two matches during the WAC regular season, and both of them were to Liang. The WAC qualifies its top two finishers to the Sac-Joaquin Section Division 2 tournament, and Barcellos needed to get through Liang to qualify. But with Liang’s victory, he and Ceres teammate Nolan McCaig are the two that advance after McCaig defeated Central Catholic’s John Fenton in the other semifinal.
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After his ankle injury, Barcellos was unable to compete in the WAC golf finals, which were later that afternoon.
“There was no way he was going to walk 18 holes,” Lynn Barcellos said.
As of Thursday afternoon, the senior was on crutches, and his participation in the WAC doubles finals today was up in the air. The other Los Banos singles entry, Elias Navarro, went out in the first round with a 6-0, 6-0 loss to Central Catholic’s Connor Garcia. Pacheco’s Juan Baez and Antonio Hipolito went out in the first round as well – Baez lost 6-1, 6-4 to Livingston’s Jacob Mercado and Hipolito lost 6-2, 6-1 to Ceres’ Rene Cortes.
But Barcellos has one consolation – his fourth straight All-WAC first-team selection. Barcellos was the only member of either Los Banos or Pacheco to make the team.