St. Dom’s bounced back from its first loss of the season, 4-3 at Wiscasset on May 7, in impressive fashion.

The Saints have won four in a row and sit atop the Western Class C Heal Points with a 9-1 record. They’ve handed their two closest pursuers, Dirigo and Monmouth, their only losses of the season.

Last Wednesday’s 5-3 win at Monmouth was the highlight of the current winning streak, which also includes victories over Mt. Abram, Hall-Dale and Telstar. The Saints’ trademark pitching and defense have been solid, but it’s the way they are swinging the bats that has their coach most encouraged.

“The key to this team is putting the ball in play with authority, and we’ve done it,” St. Dom’s coach Bob Blackman said. “Even the game we lost to Wiscasset, we out-hit them 12-4 and had four doubles. We just couldn’t get the key hit.”

Blackman said the Saints have put in the work at batting practice, stayed disciplined at the plate and put the ball in play consistently.

The bottom of the batting order has been particularly productive of late, bolstered by the emergence of junior second baseman Ryan Harvey, who had three hits in the win over Monmouth.


“Harvey was on the bench for three games. We gave him a chance to pinch hit and he came through with a key hit. Next game, he pinch hit and came through with a key hit,” Blackman said. “He’s been in the lineup since and had multiple hits in all three games. The bottom of the lineup really has paid off for us.”

With a rematch against Dirigo and games against Spruce Mountain, Lisbon and Winthrop coming up, the Saints will need those contributions to continue if they hope to maintain the top spot in Western C.

Letourneau, Devils on the rebound

The weight of expectations had Lewiston’s Kyleigh Letourneau out of sorts to start the tennis season. Then something clicked for the junior, and she’s emerged as one of the top players in central Maine.

“I think it was after ladder matches,” said Letourneau, who was the Blue Devils’ third singles player last year. “Going into this season, I thought I was expected to be No. 1, so when I started losing matches it kind of got into my head. I came home one day and it was ‘That’s it, I’m done losing.’ Next day at practice, I was like, ‘OK, I think I know how to beat this girl,’ and I did, and I kept winning my matches.”

She continued winning through Saturday’s Region 4 qualifier at Bates College to reach the round of 48 for the second consecutive year.


“She’s improved so much,” Lewiston coach Anita Murphy said. “At first, I think she was trying too hard. I told her at one of her matches, ‘You need to relax. I can see you’re all tense.'”

When it comes to relaxing on the court, Letourneau said the team’s success has helped. Letourneau, Maddi Roy and Maddie LeBlond have the traditionally powerful Blue Devils on the rebound. Their only loss came against Hampden Academy, 4-1, on May 2.

“Our season is so much better than last year, from 5-8 last year to now we’re 8-1 this year,” Letourneau said. “I think that’s all just been an accumulation of confidence.”

Job exchange keeps things exciting

Win or lose, Oak Hill hasn’t been embroiled in many close boys’ lacrosse games this season.

Six consecutive games have ended with a disparity of five goals or more for the Raiders (3-4). The past four have been settled by double digits, with Oak Hill winning two and losing two.


That coincides with the absence of a junior varsity team, due to academic probation issues, so it has persuaded coach Dan Brannigan to be creative with his substitution patterns.

“I tell the kids we don’t have JV kids to run, so we’re going to let you play positions you want to play,” Brannigan said. “At the end of the game it lets the kids have fun.”

Chad Merrill moved from defense to attack late in the third period of Wednesday’s 15-0 win over Mt. Blue and promptly scored a natural hat trick.

“I guess that’s a problem when one of our best finishers is one of our defensemen,” Brannigan quipped.

After scoring four goals and dealing out four assists in the same game, Kyle Flaherty picked up a long stick and helped Matty Martin and the defense seal the shutout.

“I don’t think there’s a position that kid can’t play, except he told me he won’t play goalie,” Brannigan said of Flaherty.


Upcoming games against undefeated Morse and Class A playoff contenders Portland and Edward Little will give Oak Hill a chance to strengthen their grip on a Class B East playoff spot.

Flannery’s volunteer spirit boosts Cougars

After being one of the top teams in the East in the early years of Maine Principals’ Association-sanctioned boys’ lacrosse, Mt. Blue has experienced many growing pains as a program in recent seasons.

The Cougars have been shut out five times and scored only one goal in two other games this spring. Given those struggles, finding a volunteer to play the thankless goalie position could have been a chore for coach John McDonough.

Sophomore Leo Flannery has given the Cougars one less cause for concern.

“He’s bought into it. He likes it, and you’ve got be a little offbeat, anyway, for that position,” McDonough said. “The good ones aren’t right, and he’s one of the good ones. He played short stick (midfield) last year, and he wanted to go do it.


Flannery made 14 saves to back up Sam Taylor’s two goals in the Cougars’ lone victory to date, a 5-4 decision over Lincoln. The first-year netminder stared down 51 shots this past week in a 15-0 loss at Oak Hill.

Staying on track

Track and field highlights from the past week of competition:

• Lewiston girls won a five-team KVAC, edging host Winslow by 8.5 points. The Blue Devils dominated the running events, including wins by Heather Kendall (100 and 200 meters), Faith Shaw (800), Farhiyo Aden (1,600), Jenny Martin (100 hurdles), Isha Kasai (300 hurdles) and Kayla Allen (race walk). Adela Kalilwa also won the triple jump.

• Mt. Blue boys topped a competition at Lawrence. Nate Backus swept the 100, 200 and 4×100, with Dan Lesko dominating the 3,200. Dustin Staples (long jump), Nate Pratt-Holt (triple jump), Colin Richards (discus) and Steven Minns (race walk) also scored wins.

• Both Poland squads placed second in a road meet at perennial power Falmouth. Winners for the Knights were Brooke Yorkey (girls’ 400), Elisha Pratt (girls’ 300 hurdles), Hope Kohtala (girls’ high jump), Marissa Zink (girls’ pole vault), Nigel Williams (boys’ 100 and pole vault), Tony Benedict (boys’ shot put and discus) and Everett Bertrand (boys’ javelin).

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