AUGUSTA – What looked like a possible Twin Cities two-fer turned into an Eastern Maine sweep Saturday.

Lewiston High School reclaimed the Class A state cheering championship, while St. Dom’s hopes for a successful defense of their Class C crown were dashed by Houlton before a combined crowd of over 5,000 at Augusta Civic Center.

For the Lewiston seniors, it marked their third state title in four years.

“We worked hard last year. Things just happened,” said Alyson Banks, who helped Lewiston hoist the state trophy as a freshman and sophomore before watching Bonny Eagle celebrate last February. “This has been a great year all the way.”

Banks and Lewiston completed a season sweep by capturing the school’s fourth Class A championship overall.

The Blue Devils also won the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and Eastern Maine titles here last month.

“We hit our routine the first time, and we said we had to come out and work harder and do it even better the second time,” Banks said. “We weren’t going to settle for what the judges (would) give. We wanted to be perfect.”

Houlton outdueled St. Dom’s in the Class C finale with two nearly flawless performances. In fact, Washington Academy was the surprising runner-up, 150.1 to 147 points, with St. Dom’s (142.3) third.

The Saints lost the top spot to the Shiretowners in 2004 before regaining it last season.

Two other titles went north, with John Bapst Memorial High School of Bangor successfully defending its Class B championship and Fort Fairfield claiming the Class D crown.

Oak Hill and Poland finished third and fourth, respectively, in the B’ competition. Buckfield took fourth in Class D.

Lewiston dominated both rounds of the Class A competition. The Blue Devils’ score and margin of victory both increased after the top four teams were called back for the championship round.

Their final score of 165.6 out of a possible 175 was one of the highest in the 20-year history of the competition.

“It’s definitely the highest score we’ve ever had,” said Lewiston senior Amanda Frechette-Dumont. “I think our energy shone through. We had confidence, and we wanted to show the judges that we had the routine to win.”

While most other teams tweaked their technique and changed stunts in the two-week lull between regional and state competition, Lewiston regained the crown with a three-minute performance that stayed virtually the same.

Lewiston simply emphasized keeping its spirit high from start to finish. That wasn’t difficult, given the fun the Devils had with their “scary” theme, featuring dance choreography that included a send-up of Michael Jackson’s vintage “Thriller” video dance.

“Our saying is, Bring your heart or go home.’ Once these girls hit the floor, their adrenaline started flowing and they just performed,” said Lewiston coach Justin Wing. “This is my first year coaching. It’s amazing to be part of all this.”

A senior-dominated group that reached the summit as freshmen and sophomores in 2003 and 2004 gave Wing a fair foundation to start.

“All the way here, the attitude on the bus was let’s work harder than we ever have, and whatever happens, happens,” Banks said.

John Bapst punctuated its opening cheer with the proclamation, “Maine state champs: once is not enough.” The Crusaders (153.3 points) backed up those words twice with an authoritative performance, edging Western champion Wells (150.9) in the final round.

Oak Hill capped one of its best cheering campaigns ever. The Raiders were third in the KVAC Class B competition and second in regionals prior to their third-place finale. Poland improved its score and seeding dramatically from the regional meet and earned a fourth straight trip to the state final four.

Fort Fairfield followed up its regional title with a convincing Class D victory over Central Aroostook.

Buckfield, which entered the competition as the fifth seed, leapfrogged defending champion Bangor Christian and qualified for callbacks with a score of 109.9. The Bucks improved that to 111.3 the second time around on their way to fourth overall.

Oxford Hills, Gray-New Gloucester, Mountain Valley, Jay, Monmouth and Dirigo also competed in their respective classes.

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