SOUTH PORTLAND — Watch out, Old Town swimming.

Waynflete tennis is coming after your streak.

The Waynflete boys won their 14th consecutive state title early Saturday evening, turning aside a determined effort from Van Buren/Wisdom in the Class C championship match at South Portland High School.

The final score was 5-0, but the clinching point did not arrive until nearly two hours after the start, when sophomores Max Shurman and Basil DiBenedetto finished off a 6-3, 6-4 victory at second doubles.

As for the streak, “it’s not really something you think about in the moment,” said junior Matt Adey, who endured a two-hour match at No. 2 singles, winning 6-3, 5-7, 6-1 against Jordan Clavette, a senior from Wisdom on an otherwise all-Van Buren team that won the Northern Maine championship. “But everyone we play goes into it wanting to beat us because they know we’ve won a lot, so we’ve got to play with that chip on our shoulder.”

Among team sports, no Maine high school has won more than 14 consecutive state titles. Old Town ruled Class B swimming and diving from 1985 to 1998.

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Waynflete’s victory completed a sweep for defending boys’ state champions. Earlier, Yarmouth won its third straight crown in Class B by holding off Mt. Desert Island, 3-2, and Kennebunk repeated in Class A with a 3-2 victory over Camden Hills.

Yarmouth also won its regional semis and finals by 3-2 over Freeport and Greely. Clippers senior Sutter Augur, a state champion in soccer and basketball as well as tennis, said close matches earlier in the tournament helped the Clippers handle a tense finale.

“They helped teach us how to perform when it’s a tight match,” he said. “We’re a humble team. We know on any given day, any of us can lose.”

Augur and junior Ethan Lombard were first off the court, thanks to a 6-0, 6-2 victory at first doubles. Senior Asher Lockwood followed with a 6-1, 6-0 victory at No. 3 singles to put Yarmouth one point from the title.

However, the three remaining matches were all in doubt. MDI won at No. 1 singles and second doubles, but not until after Yarmouth junior Quinn Federle won a hard-fought battle with MDI sophomore Max Friedlander, 6-3, 6-4.

“We have the depth that a lot of other teams just don’t have,” Federle said. “Our one, two and three singles (players) are always really close.”

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MDI’s Westy Granholm won a 10-6 tiebreaker over Will Best after the two juniors playing at No. 1 split their sets, 6-2 for Best and 6-3 for Granholm. At second doubles, MDI senior Treyan Nelson and sophomore Owen Kelly won 7-6 (2), 4-6, 6-2.

In Class A, Kennebunk (15-1) earned points from the exact same positions as it did a year ago against Camden Hills, winning the top two singles matches as well as first doubles.

Junior Matt Durcan and sophomore Jaxson Redmond were off the court first, emerging with a 6-4, 7-5 victory at first doubles. Senior Will Smith at No. 2 singles extended Kennebunk’s lead with a 6-2, 6-1 victory at No. 2 singles.

Sophomore George Cutone, the two-time MPA singles state champion, delivered the clinching blow with a 6-0, 6-0 shutout of Camden Hills senior Ezra LeMole.

“The matches were a lot more intense this year than last year,” Smith said. “Sometimes the score isn’t always a reflection of how much passion went into every single match.”

Camden Hills (14-2) won at No. 3 singles – Noah Thackeray outlasted Kennebunk’s Noah Williams, 6-4, 7-6 (7-1) – and at second doubles, where Alex Todd and Sam Van Lonkhuyzen won a squeaker, 6-7 (7-2), 6-3, 7-6 (6).

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“Just a hard-fought match,” Rams Coach Paul Gaylord said. “They’re very well-coached in their doubles strategies and that made it really tough.”

In Class C, Waynflete earned points in singles from junior Henry Kerr at No. 1 (6-4, 6-2) and freshman Theo Demetriou at No. 3 (6-1, 6-1), and in first doubles from seniors Henry Hart and Ed Cox (6-1, 6-0).

The Flyers went into the season needing to replace their top two singles players, then dealt with the loss of three seniors who opted for Ultimate, as well as injuries and illnesses. Three players and Coach Jeff Madore had to miss multiple matches after coming down with COVID-19, and Madore has endured a painful hip that’s scheduled to be replaced later this month.

“He’s really sacrificed a lot for us,” Adey said. “I think (the streak) speaks to how good a coach he is. None of us have been here for the 14. He’s the only one who’s been here for all 14. I improve every season, and it’s mostly because of his coaching.”

Madore lived in Old Town while attending the University of Maine and is aware of the streak, but never brings it up to the team.

“I was a little bit nervous going into this year,” said Shurman, who overcame a knee injury and COVID this spring. “We lost a lot of seniors and people quit the team. But we got it.”

“Winning a state title for the 14th year in a row is pretty nice,” DiBenedetto said. “It was definitely an added bonus to be the clinching match.”


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