LEWISTON – One team is headed for uncharted territory, the other for parts known all too well.

The Gorham High girls and Windham High boys won their Western Class A tennis titles Wednesday at Bates College, each earning a date with Lewiston in Saturday’s state finals in Waterville.

For top-seeded Windham, a 4-1 victor over second-seed Scarborough, Saturday’s trip will mark a return to the site of a gut-wrenching loss to seven-time defending state champion Lewiston, which dodged four match points, any of which would have given Windham the title.

“Traumatic. Nightmarish. It was rough,” said Dan McGovern of Windham. “But we will not repeat that.”

McGovern, with Andy Brix, clinched the regional title with a 7-5, 6-4 victory at second doubles after Windham won in straight sets at second singles (Dan Crocker) and first doubles (Nick Rallis and Kurt Stultz).

The 3-0 lead rendered the first and second singles matches meaningless.

“These guys have something to prove,” said Windham Coach Wayne Martin, whose team beat Scarborough 4-1 in the opening match of the season in late April. “It’s in their hands now. It’s up to them on Saturday.”

Windham (15-0) again will face Lewiston, a 5-0 winner over Brunswick to claim the Eastern Maine title.

No team from Gorham — boys or girls — ever reached the state tennis final. Until now.

The second-seeded Rams (14-1) rallied from a 2-0 deficit to avenge their only loss. In early May, defending regional champ Portland (14-1) beat Gorham 3-2 by sweeping the doubles.

But a late-season injury — a concussion sustained in a rugby match — threw Portland’s doubles teams in flux, and the pivotal match came at second doubles. Emily Estes and Chloe Johnson of Gorham edged Emma Wilson and Nyador Nguany of Portland, 6-4, 7-6 (7-4).

After Portland won handily at third singles (Corey Carmichael) and first doubles (Lauren MacDougal and Sophie Hulbert), Gorham did likewise at second singles with Hannah Shorty. The second doubles outcome teetered during a marathon game at 4-4 of the second set before Estes held serve.

“It almost felt like the end of the set after that game,” said Wilson, who had played with Nguany only twice before Wednesday’s match. “But we did a pretty good job of coming back.”

Indeed, the Portland pair took a 2-0 lead in the tiebreaker before Gorham reeled off four straight points. It was 4-4 before Gorham won three more.

That put a 2-2 tie in the hands of No. 1 singles players Mary Moran of Portland and Natalie Egbert of Gorham. Egbert won, 6-4, 6-4.

 

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

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