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TENNIS : Shatto Park Fares Well in Tourney

March 14, 1993|JAKE DOHERTY

The Shatto Park tennis teams began the second half of the season last week, shortly after the girls' team for players 15 and younger came within one game of winning the championship match in the Penn Junior Team Tennis League.

After 43 games, the Shatto Park team from Mid-Wilshire nearly pulled off an upset, losing to the South Orange County team, 3-8, 8-3, 2-8 and 8-3, in the tournament at UCLA. The league, administered by the Southern California Tennis Assn., is the tennis equivalent to Little League baseball and plays pro sets to eight games.

The Feb. 28 tournament drew teams from all over Southern California. In preliminary rounds, the Shatto Park team beat teams from Orange County, the San Gabriel Valley and San Diego.

During league play, boys' and girls' teams representing Shatto Park, a recreation center at 3191 W. 4th St., played teams from Beverly Hills, South-Central and Westchester, Coach David Smith said. Three of the park's four teams won their divisions and qualified for the tournaments.

"I'm very surprised we did what we did," Smith said. He organized the team seven months ago and many of his players, including his 13-year-old star, Sharon Locsin, had never played before, he said.

"The secret is our enthusiasm," Smith said. "If it's channeled properly, their potential is unlimited."

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