Lewiston High School tennis players Caden Smith, left, and Ben St. Laurent return shots during their singles matches at the Class A North regional championship against Brunswick at Colby College in Waterville on Wednesday. (David Leaming/Waterville Morning Sentinel)

WATERVILLE — Lewiston gave Camden Hills a fight in Wednesday’s Class A North regional boys’ tennis final at Colby College.

But it wasn’t enough, as Camden Hills defeated the Blue Devils 5-0 to advance to the Class A state championship.

Still, Lewiston coach Tom Leblond liked how the team competed.

“We said all along that we’ve played some good tennis this year, but we haven’t played our best tennis,” Leblond said. “I thought a lot of elements today showed that the kids were playing their best tennis. The most important thing is that they are excited and they want to play more.”

The Blue Devils finish the season with an 11-4 record.

Camden Hills is going for its third straight state championship, having won the past two Class B State championships, in 2016 and 2017.

“It poses a new challenge, being up in class, but we always feel we have a fighting chance,” Camden Hills coach Noah Capetta said. “We just focus on improvement and play as best as we can, no matter who our opponent is.”

The Windjammers take on the winner of Thursday’s A South final between Falmouth and Portland, which takes place at Bates College

Lewiston’s No. 1 singles player, Caden Smith, had an early advantage over Cooper Russell in the first set, leading 3-2 before Russell stormed back to win the set 6-4. Russell made quick work of Smith in the second set, winning 6-2 to take the match.

Russell used his shot-making abilities to storm back in the opening set.

“When you play a good point, it helps you psychologically to get your head in the game and the belief you can win points out there,” Russell said. “That definitely helps.”

Smith knew he had to come out aggressive.

“I know he’s good at rallying the ball back and forth, and I knew I wasn’t going to win that way,” Smith said. “I attacked him early and playing more offense than defense and getting to the net, hoping to get those volleys.”

No. 2 singles was the best match of the afternoon as Lewiston’s Ben St. Laurent jumped out to an early lead in the first set before holding on to a 6-4 victory over Charlie O’Brien. O’Brien made adjustments in the second set and forced a third by winning 6-2.

By the time they reached the third set, Camden Hills had won the match, so St. Laurent and O’Brien played a 10-point pro set, which O’Brien won 10-3.

“It took a few games for everybody to settle down and get in stride,” Capetta said. “Most of the sets were well-contested, with the exception of second doubles. …We were down on a couple of courts, and my guys were able to dig deep and turn it around and we got up a set on four courts.”

Noah Heidorn had the best start of Camden Hills’ three singles players, as he won 6-2 over Sam Frechette. Frechette won two of the final games in the set. The second set was much closer, with Heidorn winning 6-4.

Heidorn’s win clinched the match for the Windjammers.

“It feels great,” Heidorn said. “We are definitely not at our peak yet, and I think we can definitely get there. I am encouraged by what I see.”

The Windjammers dominated doubles play. David Potasse and Henry Cooper won 6-2 and 7-5 in No. 1 doubles over Jacob Smith and Hayden Bavis. In No. 2 doubles, Jack Lawrence and Trevor Iltis defeated Jeremy Hepler and Ethan Weiss 6-1, 6-1.

“In tennis, it’s sort of like basketball: It’s a game of runs,” Leblond said. “You make runs. We were at one point in our first doubles, they had two, three set points in that second set.”

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Lewiston High School tennis player Caden Smith competes during a singles match during the Class A North regional championship against Brunswick at Colby College in Waterville on Wednesday. (David Leaming/Waterville Morning Sentinel)Lewiston High School tennis player Ben St. Laurent competes during a singles match at the Class A North regional championship against Brunswick at Colby College in Waterville on Wednesday. (David Leaming/Waterville Morning Sentinel)


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