One was methodical in her play, the other dug deep when things looked bleak.

Both were crowned as high school singles tennis champions on Saturday.

Maria Varano, a junior at Kennebunk High representing her school for the first time, won the high school girls’ singles championship at Bates College, while Waynflete sophomore Patrick Ordway, runner-up a year ago, came back to win the boys’ crown.

The top-seeded Varano, who until this year had concentrated on the USTA circuit, defeated Brunswick freshman Maisie Silverman 6-2, 6-1 in a match that lasted little over an hour.

“This is probably my favorite win, my best win,” said Varano. “I can honestly say I’ve never wanted to win a tournament as much as I wanted to win this one. It’s because it’s for my state, it’s where I’m from.”

Ordway, also top-seeded, came back from a first-set loss to beat Falmouth freshman — and good friend — Justin Brogan 3-6, 6-4, 6-3 in the Maine Principals’ Association’s first three-set title match in seven years.

“This just feels good, real good,” said Ordway. “It really could have gone either way.”

And for a while, it really didn’t look like it would go Ordway’s way at all. The two boys’ finalists had dispatched of their semifinal foes quickly — Ordway beating Cape Elizabeth’s Matt Gilman 6-0, 6-2, and Brogan downing John Bapst’s Bob Tom Flynn 6-1, 6-2 — and appeared ready to resume a friendly rivalry.

They train together and play each other constantly, and most matches are extremely close.

Brogan, playing calmly and cooly, won the first set 6-3 when Ordway couldn’t get his devastating first serve in consistently. But Ordway settled down in the second to come back for a 6-4 win.

“He came out really strong and it was hard for me to adjust,” Ordway said.

They were tied at 3 in the third set, when Ordway broke Brogan’s serve — the final point coming when Brogan hit a forehand return into the net — for a 4-3 edge. Ordway then held service — the final two points coming when Brogan had trouble handling the serve — for a 5-3 lead.

And then, Ordway broke Brogan’s serve, with match point coming on a rare double-fault.

“I think he picked it up in the second set and started to make less unforced errors,” said Brogan, who impressed everyone with his talent and demeanor. “He put more pressure on me and made good shots.

“What it comes down to is who executes better on that day. We both play together so much. And he was able to play real well on some deciding points.”

Ordway said that playing in last year’s finals helped him relax when the match was going against him.

“I knew I could just play my game,” he said.

Ordway didn’t remember much of the match’s final points. He was just trying to concentrate on his game.

“You’ve just got to play it like it’s 0-0 in the first set and try not to think about the score,” he said.

In the girls’ final, Varano never let Silverman get untracked.

Silverman, the No. 3 seed, had a hard semifinal victory over Falmouth’s Annie Criscione, winning 6-3, 7-5 in a match that pushed both competitors. Varano was pushed as well in the semis, by Falmouth’s Analise Kump, winning 6-2, 6-4, but she had more rest.

Varano’s goal in the finals was to keep moving Silverman side to side and then hit her with a drop or slice.

Silverman said it didn’t seem to matter how many balls she got on the court. She hit some excellent shots that Varano not only tracked down, but won.

“Maria played like an amazing game,” said Silverman. “There was nothing I could do. She just hit winners off my shots.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at:

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Twitter: MikeLowePPH