LEWISTON — For the second straight year, the Lewiston boys tennis team’s season came to an end at the Class A North regional final to Camden Hills.

Lewiston’s No. 1 singles player Caden Smith returns a backhand during his match against Camden Hills’ Ezra LeMole. Sun Journal photo by Russ Dillingham

The Windjammers (15-0) pulled out a 3-2 victory and earned a berth in the Class A state championship Saturday.

“It was a tight match, for sure,” Camden Hills coach Jesse Simke said. “(Lewiston) did a good job, even in second doubles, pushing it to three sets after we won the first set. (Lewiston) was able to find a way to get that second set win and take that match. It put pressure on everyone, but it was a great match.”

Lewiston coach Tom Leblond said the Blue Devils knew points were at a premium.

“It was a well-fought match. We knew their one doubles and one singles, they hadn’t lost this year,” Leblond said. “So, it was the kind of thing where we didn’t think we were going to get those (points), there wasn’t much of a chance getting those.”

Henry Cooper won No. 2 singles to clinch the match for Camden Hills. Lewiston’s Ben St. Laurent took the first set 7-5 before Cooper won the second and third set 6-3 and 6-2.

Cooper knew it might come down to his match.

“I kind of sensed there was a lot of close matches going around me,” Cooper said. “I knew we got first doubles and I was excited about that. My friend Charlie (O’Brien) was winning. I knew my match was definitely important, I knew I had to come back.”

Leblond said Cooper changed his strategy after the first set by coming to the net, picking up his energy and not allowing St. Laurent to get into position to get hard shots in.

The loss doesn’t take away the season St. Laurent had.

“Looking back at it, besides our second doubles, he has really been our most valuable player,” Leblond said. “I think he has made, in a lot of ways, the biggest strides as a tennis player out of all our kids this year.”

In No. 1 singles, Camden Hill’s Ezra LeMole made quick work of Caden Smith winning 6-1, 6-1.

The two faced off in regular season.

“I learned to not be as patient as I might usually be because he’s pretty fast and can get to a lot of stuff,” LeMole said of that regular season match. “I definitely wanted to take advantage of any short balls and get him on the move to see if I can get a short ball to hit those winners.”

In No. 1 doubles, Camden Hills’ Simon Fedarko and David Poutasse defeated Jacob Smith and Hayden Bavis to take first point of the match, which they knew was important.

“For me at least, it shows we have the momentum and we should keep it going,” Poutasse said.

Lewiston (13-2) tied the match up at 1-1 when Ethan Weiss and Jeremy Hepler battled back to win No. 2 doubles 3-6, 6-3 and 6-3 over Jack Lawrence and Zach Markowitz. Weiss and Hepler were down early in the second set, but quickly turned it around.

“We lost those first points and I had to talk myself into calming down and keeping it in play,” Hepler said. “Ethan and I both discussed we need to keep it in play, just make them make the errors, make sure we don’t make those errors.”

The duo of Hepler and Weiss finished the 2019 season undefeated.

Sam Frechette grabbed Lewiston’s second point as he came back against Charlie O’Brien, winning 4-6, 7-5, 6-1.


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