Mt. Blue performs during Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. The Cougars finished sixth and will go to compete in the state championship. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)

AUGUSTA — Bangor came close last year to getting on Lewiston’s level by beating the Blue Devils in the KVAC cheering championship, before falling just short in the Class A North regionals.

The Rams finally leveled up this year, brushing off a close defeat to the Blue Devils at KVACs two weeks ago by beating Lewiston for top honors in the Class A North regional championship Saturday at Augusta Civic Center, ending the Blue Devils’ run of eight straight regional titles.

“They did their best performance of the year so far,” Bangor co-coach Kate Robichaud said. “Couldn’t have asked for anything more from them today.”

Robichaud admitted that Lewiston’s dominance has pushed the Rams to be better.

“It has to,” Robichaud said. “It does. We’ve been runner-up to them — this is my eighth year in Bangor — six years (in a row) we were runner-up to them at regionals. You keep trying to get to the next level, get to the next level, because they really are at the next level. So we’ve had to work hard in the offseason and whatnot to get to that level.”

Bangor had the best score out of 11 teams performing at 91.9. Lewiston scored 90.3 to out-distance third-place Oxford Hills, which scored 78.9 points.

“I think Kate and Steph (Crane) from Bangor did an excellent job preparing them coming into today,” Lewiston coach Lysa Laverdiere said. “I think a lot of factors played into our performance, but our score went up from last week, so there’s nothing to complain about. It’s all good.”

Laverdiere said she liked how her team performed, but “there’s still a lot of work to do cleaning up other areas. There’s a lot of points to still be earned, so we have a lot of work to do.”

Robichaud admitted she wasn’t sure if her team’s routine could beat Lewiston or not, but the Rams — who performed two spots behind Lewiston in line — were “as close to perfect as you can get.”

“I didn’t know what our degree of difficulty, where we would be compared to Lewiston — they’re an amazing program, Lysa is an amazing coach — so the fact that we were able to go above them this one time is amazing,” Robichaud said.

“Our stunts and tumbling and jumps are maxing out in the difficulty, so what we need to do is just work on executing them more perfect, and going from there,” Laverdiere said.

Lewiston had won every Eastern or Northern Maine Class A title starting in 2011. Now that the streak is over, the Blue Devils will turn their attention to the state championship, where they’ll be trying to win their fourth straight title and seventh in eight years.

“These kids work harder than any group of athletes that I’ve ever had before, and I think this is going to be amazing motivation for them going into February 10,” Laverdiere said. “We’ll just have to amp up the practices, amp up the intensity, and really focus on the perfection aspect of all of the skills that we do.”

Brewer finished behind Oxford Hills in fourth, with 74 points, while Lawrence (fifth, 65.9) and Mt. Blue (sixth, 63.1) also qualified for the Class A state championship Feb. 10 at Cross Insurance Arena in Bangor. Hampden Academy (seventh place) and Edward Little (eighth) finished just outside of qualifying.

[email protected]

Lewiston Blue Devils pose with the runner-up plaque at the Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)The Oxford Hills Vikings compete during Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)The Oxford Hills Vikings compete during Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)The Oxford Hills Vikings compete during Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)The Oxford Hills Vikings compete during Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)The Oxford Hills Vikings compete during Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)The Lewiston Blue Devils’ team flips during Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)The Lewiston Blue Devils do a stunt during Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)Edward Little competes in the Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)Edward Little competes in the Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)Edward Little competes in the Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)Edward Little competes in the Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)Edward Little competes in the Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)Mt. Blue performs during Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. The Cougars finished sixth and will go to compete in the state championship. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)Mt. Blue performs during Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. The Cougars finished sixth and will go to compete in the state championship. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)Mt. Blue performs during Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. The Cougars finished sixth and will go to compete in the state championship. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)Mt. Blue performs during Class A North regional cheering championships Saturday at the Augusta Civic Center. The Cougars finished sixth and will go to compete in the state championship. (Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal)