When Gorham boys’ tennis coach Aaron Landry tries to put together a doubles team, he looks for complementary styles.

“I try to pair somebody who’s consistent,” Landry said, “with somebody who might be a little more athletic and take more risks.”

Sometimes, that takes considerable tinkering. A year ago, Landry used 15 players in a varsity lineup that requires only seven.

This year, he hit on a good combination right off the bat when freshman Tom Susi joined junior Mike Lubelczyk. The latter is a scrappy athlete who plays soccer throughout the year and only started playing tennis seriously as a freshman.

Susi, by contrast, is technically proficient. Good serve, great form, quick hands at net.

“Between the two of them, they seem to be covering all the bases that need to be covered,” Landry said.

Seeded fourth in the SMAA doubles tournament, Lubel-czyk and Susi rose through the field of 34 teams Saturday and knocked off Deering’s top-ranked team of Jamie Gullbrand and Tom Dean — a pair of rangy and athletic seniors who left baseball and track for tennis — in a 10-point tiebreaker after splitting sets.

In late April, the same Deering duo beat Lubelczyk and Susi in straight sets, 6-3, 6-0.

“It was early in the season,” Landry said. “They’re playing better together now. Mike’s had two very successful doubles years and now Tom has gotten the big matches under his belt, so I don’t really call him a freshman anymore.”

The only other loss for Gorham at No. 1 doubles came against Thornton Academy the first week of May. That’s the team Gorham will face in the finals, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Racket and Fitness in Portland.

In the other semifinal, third-seeded senior Justin Pollard and junior Alex Lambert of Thornton knocked off second-seeded Scarborough seniors Dan Slavin and Zach Pelczar, also in a tiebreaker.

If Lubelczyk and Susi were at all intimidated by the athletic Pollard and Lambert the first time around, they aren’t likely to shrink from the challenge this time. At least, that’s Landry’s theory after seeing his vertically challenged pair cut down Deering’s No. 1 team.

“They’re two big guys and they’re very athletic,” Landry said of Gullbrand and Dean. “I think it had less of an effect the second time seeing them.”

Pollard plays basketball and Lambert is, as he reminds Coach Andrew Carlson, a member of the two-time state champion hockey team.

“They’re very accomplished athletes who happen to have taken up tennis,” said Carlson, who put them together in the middle of last season, the first for each of them, and watched them reach the semifinals of the SMAA tournament. “They’re just naturally athletic, and in doubles, that’s a really big advantage. They’re also very aggressive and explosive. And the combination of those three things can lead to some pretty good success at doubles.”

When things go poorly, as in dropping their first set 6-1 in the semifinals, Pollard and Lambert find a way to turn things around. They won the next set 6-1 and the tiebreaker 12-10.

“They understand the strategy of doubles tennis,” Carlson said. “Maybe more importantly, they understand their limitations and they’re able to quickly recognize the weaknesses of their opponents.”

If you’re wondering why the championship match is being played indoors, try finding a neutral court in the final week of the regular season that won’t disrupt a match or practice.

Incidentally, Portland juniors Malcolm Henry and Matt Livermore bounced back from a first-round defeat to win the consolation title, 11-9 over the Cheverus team of Drew and Reed Fernandez. Marshwood placed two teams in the consolation semis: Cole Tackett and Riley Burke, and Seamus Doyle and Max Parker.

PORTLAND PLACED all three of its doubles entries in the semifinals of the SMAA girls’ tournament. Portland’s No. 1 team of sophomores Annette Denekas and Kayla Berg, who reached the semifinals a year ago, got knocked off by senior teammates Natalie Anderson and Nyaliep Deng, 3-6, 7-6 (5), 10-7.

In the other semifinal, Portland’s No. 2 team of junior Lily Bruenjes and freshman Georgia Drew beat the Windham duo of junior Sydney Tanguay and sophomore Marissa Ulmer in straight sets.

The two Portland teams will face off this afternoon, marking the third time in four years the Bulldogs have won the doubles tournament.

“I think we’re so good at doubles because we work very hard and pay a lot of attention to our JV players,” Coach Bonnie Moran wrote in an email. “I don’t play the same team at No. 2 all the time, so our players know they will have a chance to play if they put in the effort.”

In the consolation final, seniors Elizabeth Gilboy and Alexandra Vieira of Thornton Academy beat senior Kate Poulin and freshman Kathleen O’Brien of McAuley, 8-3.

FORTY-EIGHT BOYS and 48 girls will gather Friday at the blue Colby College courts for preliminary matches and the round of 32 for the state singles tournament. The round of 16 and the quarterfinals are scheduled for Saturday, with the semifinals and finals slated for Memorial Day.

Waynflete junior Patrick Ordway, the defending boys’ champion, hasn’t lost since opening the season with a three-set defeat at the hands of Falmouth sophomore Justin Brogan, last year’s runner-up.

Among girls, 2011 runner-up Maisie Silverman, a Brunswick sophomore, drew the top seed. Seniors Annie Criscione, Analise Kump and freshman Olivia Leavitt of Falmouth are also seeded among the top five.

Brunswick Coach Rob Manter likes Silverman’s chances.

“I think she’s a year older and a year more seasoned, so I think she’s in good shape,” he said. “If everything goes the right way she’s got a good shot.”

Brunswick also has a good shot at ending the six-year reign atop Class A by Lewiston. The Dragons have beaten the Blue Devils twice this season, each by a score of 4-1.

Then again, last spring Brunswick won twice in the regular season and also in the KVAC championship before losing to Lewiston in the regional final.

“They’re always tough,” Manter said. “But my team is surprisingly strong, stronger than I anticipated.”

Manter said the big surprise is the improvement of sophomore Ali Stankiewicz at No. 2 singles, which gives Brunswick a formidable 1-2 punch at the top of the lineup.

“We think our chances are pretty good at 1 and 2 (singles),” Manter said of a tournament date with Lewiston. “It’s three relatively close matches below that. We’d like to think we could pick up one of them, but you never know.”

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

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Twitter: GlennJordanPPH