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 Ahhh, the baseline. It requires a strong forehand and an unwavering backhand.

  It is the place where dreams can come true, reputations are made and championships are won.

 On Saturday at Cedar Crest High School, Ben Clary earned the Lebanon County individual boys’ tennis championship from the baseline. The hard-hitting Palmyra Cougar downed the Falcons’ Jackson Muriaka 6-1, 6-2 in the final match at Number-One Singles to earn the title.

 Ripping hard ground strokes with both sides of his racquet, Clary captured the last four games of the first set. Then, Clary closed out Muriaka by winning the final three games of the second set.

 Clary had reached the championship match with a 6-0, 6-0 blanking of Elco’s Jaydon Grumbine.

 Clary’s county crown was his second straight, both of which have come against Muriaka, and it helped Palmyra to tie Cedar Crest for the overall team championship in the event. In their four career head-to-head meetings, Clary has won two and Muriaka has won two.

 While the matches between Clary and Muriaka have been epic in nature, they don’t figure to be the final ones, moving forward.

 – Jeff Falk



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