LEWISTON — They expected the deficit.

What the boys of Kennebunk High didn’t expect was to be in trouble with their top doubles team.

Even so, the undefeated tandem of Owen Chestnut and Connor Durcan, winners of the SMAA doubles tournament earlier this spring, pulled out a 7-6 (3), 3-6, 7-5 victory over Thornton Academy counterparts they had beaten handily earlier this season. That gave the Rams the point they needed to win 3-2 Wednesday morning at Lewiston High in the Class A South final.

Top-seeded Kennebunk (15-0) will face North champion Camden Hills in the Class A state championship match Saturday in Lewiston.

In other South finals Wednesday, top-seeded Waynflete shut out No. 2 Maranacook/Winthrop 5-0 in Class C, and No. 1 Yarmouth defeated No. 3 Greely 3-2 in Class B.

In Class A, Thornton Academy finishes 13-2, with both losses by an identical score to its York County neighbor.

Back in late April, however, Thornton senior Zack Waterhouse and junior Carlo Weimer were playing together for the first time and managed only one game off Chestnut and Durcan. On Wednesday, with more consistent and powerful serving coupled with judicious poaching, Waterhouse and Weimer gave the Kennebunk seniors all they could handle.

Even when Chestnut and Durcan opened a 5-2 lead in the third set, the Golden Trojan tandem rallied to tie the match at 5-all before Durcan held serve to put Kennebunk in position to win.

“It’s not like we were giving away games,” Chestnut said. “They were just making good down-the-line shots, good serves. That’s just how it goes.”

All other matches had finished as the third set drew to its conclusion. Thornton had taken a 2-0 lead by winning at second doubles (6-3, 6-2 by seniors Zack Howe and Sean Nguyen) and third singles (Alessandro Gamba, 6-3, 6-0). Kennebunk responded with victories at first and second singles (freshman George Cutone by 6-0, 6-2 and junior Will Smith by 6-0, 6-3).

That left the overall outcome riding on the first doubles match, which ended in less-than-dramatic fashion when a second serve died in the net.

“It feels a lot better, beating a team like that,” Chestnut said. “They really competed with us. Obviously it’s nice to get to the state finals, but if you’re just blowing all the teams out, then where’s the fun?”

Instead, on a morning of 80-degree heat rarely interrupted by a breeze, the pair faced a major test and passed.

“It was nice to have to battle to get in,” Chestnut said, “especially with the pressure of all the other guys on our team finishing and having it come down to us.”

Thornton Coach Andrew Carlson reflected on a spring that began with masks, uncertainty and 16 newcomers on a roster of 18.

“When the season started,” he said, “we did not have hopes and dreams that we would be playing here today.”

In the Class C match, Waynflete encountered little trouble in its quest for a 13th consecutive state title. Senior Ben Adey at No. 1 and sophomore Henry Kerr at No. 3 singles each won in straight sets, as did the doubles teams of Matt Adey and Henry Hart and John Moon-Black and Henry Moore.

At second singles, senior Connor Feeney won a first-set tiebreaker after enduring a lengthy medical timeout by his opponent, Noah Grube, who was experiencing stomach issues and heat exhaustion. Grube retired early in the second set.

In Class B, Yarmouth had beaten neighboring Greely twice in the regular season, and did so a third time Wednesday despite the Rangers claiming the top two singles matches with juniors Leif Boddie (6-1, 6-1) and Peter Rinehart (6-4, 6-2).

Yarmouth’s depth proved decisive, as sophomore Quinn Federle won 6-1, 6-2 at third singles and junior Sutter Augur teamed with Ethan Lombard at first doubles, 6-1, 6-3.

The Clippers clinched the overall victory when senior Miles Hagedorn, who had played first doubles with G.W. Ruth until a broken hand ended his season, teamed with freshman Andi Cobaj for a 7-5, 6-3 victory at second doubles.


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