From left, Brunswick High players Abby Sharpe, Lia Rand, Ella Perham and Coach Mary Kunhardt stand during the awards ceremony following their 3-2 victory over Falmouth at the Class A state tennis championships Saturday at Lewiston High. Kevin Thomas photo

LEWISTON — Brunswick High senior tennis player Ella Perham does not think of herself as patient, but she had to get over that with so much at stake Saturday during the Class A state girls’ championships.

“It was kind of coming down to this match,” Perham said.

Perham won a marathon match at No. 3 singles, 6-4, 6-4, to help propel the Dragons to the title with a 3-2 win over Falmouth at the Lewiston High courts. It was Brunswick’s fifth state championship, and first since 2013.

In the boys’ final, Kennebunk won the first state title in program history with a 3-2 victory over Camden Hills.

Both championships were officially settled by the No. 1 singles matches – which began later than the other matches – but the key confrontations were elsewhere.

In the girls’ final, the spotlight focused on No. 3 singles between Perham and Falmouth freshman Gracyn Mick.

“Our doubles team have played well all year and the 1-2 (singles) are really tough for Brunswick,” said Falmouth Coach Larry Nichols. “It came down to the third singles. That’s a lot of pressure to put on a freshman. She saved us a lot this year and she did great under the circumstances. We couldn’t be more happy with how she did.”

Mick and Perham battled with long volleys, and games often going to deuce.

“It was … very long,” Perham said, emphasizing her words. “I can be impatient in long rallies. I just want to hit (a winner) … But I’m not the best at picking when to go to the net, so I was trying to be patient.

“It was pretty hard to stay focused but (being the key match) was especially motivating.”

After Perham’s victory, Brunswick’s No. 1, Coco Meserve clinched the title with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Ella Holland.

Earlier, Anna Barnes topped Nina Woodbury 6-2, 6-2 at No. 2. Falmouth’s doubles teams of Marissa LeFevre and Elise Gearan, and Liv McHugh and Avery Quinn, both won in straight sets.

Brunswick finished 15-1, Falmouth 14-2.

Kennebunk High captains Will Smith and Owen Chestnut, along with Coach Paul Gaylord, took the hardware at the Class A state tennis championships Saturday in Lewiston. Kevin Thomas photo

In the boys’ final, Kennebunk (16-0) used a familiar path to victory.

“They (No. 1 doubles) are undefeated this year. Will (Smith) is undefeated and George (Cutone) is undefeated,” Rams Coach Paul Gaylord said. “Obviously, that’s our strength.”

And it was again. Smith won 6-1, 6-0, in a match that lasted longer than the score indicated. The senior duo of Owen Chestnut and Cooper Durcan battled through a 6-4 first set before cruising 6-2 in the second. Cutone, the individual state champion, showed brilliant form again in a 6-1, 6-2 win.

Camden Hills (15-1) finished second for the third straight time. The Windjammers got points at No. 3 singles (Noah Thackery over Jaxson Redmond, 6-2, 6-0), and No. 2 doubles (Epsen Wold and Liam O’Dwyer over Matt Durcan and Sean Horgan, 6-2, 6-4).

“I feel like we did well,” said Camden Hills Coach Jesse Simko. “Losing 3-2 with a tight match in there … our hearts were in it.”

The tight match was in No. 1 doubles, as Lincoln Pierce and Ryan Mohammed went up a service break early. When serving, the Windjammers used a strategy with the front player squatting in the center, and then moving to one side or the other.

“We scouted them, but it was really hard to pick where you were going to (hit) and commit to it,” Chestnut said. “We missed a lot of easy returns or hit right at them. And they were putting away volleys really well.”

The Kennebunk seniors adjusted and eventually went up 5-4 in the first set. But the Windjammers led the next game 40-love.

“A lot of times, it’s easy to give up those games,” Chestnut said. “But that’s where you got to dig deep.”

The Rams did and won the game and set, and eventually the match.

Smith’s match featured several deuce games, with Smith getting past Owen Markowitz.

“Will is just a warrior,” Gaylord said.

At No. 1, Camden Hills’ Ezra LeMole won the first game before Cutone won the next 11, hitting deep forehands, nifty drop shots and one point that featured a back-to-the-net, over-the-shoulder shot as he ran into the fence. He won that point, too.

“I got into a groove, started to play well and hit my targets deep into the court,” Cutone said.


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