By Tom Robinson, NEPASportsNation.com
WILKES-BARRE – Already a two-time district champion and state semifinalist as a sophomore, Western Wayne’s Lenny Maiocco was looking forward to seeing what he could do as a junior in 2020.
Maiocco never got that chance when all spring sports in Pennsylvania were shut down because of the coronavirus.
Now, after some uncertainty along the way in his senior season, Maiocco is ready for his last shot following a dominant effort on the way to his third District 2 Class 2A championship.
“It was really upsetting not to be able to play last year,” Maiocco said after Wednesday’s 6-0, 6-0 championship match victory over Dallas freshman Tucker Chesman at Kirby Park. “I didn’t know if we’d really get to play this year.”
Maiocco showed he was ready when the time came.
“I’m just staying very focused,” Maiocco said. “I’m focused only on the point I’m playing right now.”
Maiocco won most of those points in the two-day tournament. He lost just three games in eight sets, taking at least one 6-0 set in each of his four matches, including a 6-2, 6-0 win over Riverside’s Tony Ghigiarelli in the semifinals to begin Wednesday’s competition.
With two weeks to prepare for the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Championships in Hershey May 28-29, Maiocco, who plays year round at The Hideout, has a plan.
“I’m just going to keep training and I’ll be hitting with different people to try to get used to as many different types of players as possible,” he said.
Chesman, the number-one singles player on the unbeaten Wyoming Valley Conference and District 2 Class 2A championship Dallas team, reached the semifinals on an injury default over Scranton Prep’s Matt Tressler.
Chesman had momentum in the match after winning the second set, 6-3, and first game of the third set. Tressler had won the first set, 7-6, by taking the tiebreaker, 7-4.