May 04, 2003 11:00 pm

PENDLETON — La Grande High School's Aaron Nebeker upset the No. 1 seed at the Helix Invitational Tennis Tournament to win the singles championship Saturday.

"He's started to learn to be real offensive," La Grande coach Mike Schireman said about the second-year player. "He's just a great competitor. He's one of those guys that has a great mindset for tennis. When he gets down, he doesn't fall to pieces, he keeps competing."

Nebeker went in as the No. 4 seed. He beat No. 1 seed Aaron Beamer of Helix in the finals by a score of 6-1, 3-6 (6-1).

Dan Thurber finished fourth in singles.

On the doubles side, Seth Pennington and Matt Nightingale upset their No. 1-seeded teammates Levi Morrison and John Woodfield 8-5.

"Matt and Seth were real on — service wise," Schireman said. "They're good athletes. They're starting to come on."

Stephanie Keith was second in singles action. She lost to Tami Weidert in the final by 4-6, 2-6.

"I thought Stephanie had a great tournament," Schireman said. "She struggled in the semis against (Renae) Saager. She ran into a pusher. By playing one pro set, you can't take a lot of risks.

"This gal just had pretty good wheels by getting to the ball, and everything was back high and deep. It took her out of the game.

"She stayed tough. In the finals, she was up 3-0 against a quality player before the girl came back and beat her. She's right where she needs to be at this point."

Hilary Girrard and Hailey Hines were fourth in doubles. Girrard and Hines were the No. 3 seed. They dropped their first-round match before advancing to face La Grande's Nikki Nielsen and Megan Sherer for fourth place.

"There were a lot of unforced errors. In watching them, I feel they are capable of beating anybody there. They got a real shot at district."

Megan Sherer was fifth in singles.

The Tigers host a tournament Tuesday. Helix, Echo and Stanfield will compete in it.

Helix Invitational Tennis Tournament

Blue Mountain Community College

La Grande results



Team scores — Weston Mc-Ewen 25, Mac-Hi 16, Stanfield 15, La Grande 14, Umatilla 13, Pendleton 10, Ione 2, Echo 0.

Singles — Championship: Tami Weidert, Weston-McEwen, def. Stephanie Keith, LG, 6-4. Fourth place: Kendra Winn, Weston-McEwen, def. Nikki Nielsen, LG, 8-2.

Doubles — Fourth place: Hilary Girrard and Hailey Hines, LG, def. Jennifer Hubbard and Megan Sherer, LG, 8-3.


Team scores – La Grande 44, Mac-Hi 12 and Helix 12, Umatilla 11, Echo 8, Riverside 7, Stanfield 4, Weston-McEwen 3, Pendleton 2 and Condon 2, Ione 1.

Singles — Championship: Aaron Nebeker, LG, def. Aaron Beamer, Helix, 6-1, 3-6 (6-1). Fourth place: Dan Thurber, LG, def. Alger Brigham, Pendleton, 8-4.

Doubles — Seth Pennington and Matt Nightingale, LG, def. Levi Morrison and John Woodfield, LG, 8-5.