VASSALBORO — Lucas Flaherty was confident about his abilities coming into Saturday’s state championship match at Natanis Golf Course.

After all, the South Portland junior won the Southwestern Maine Activities Association qualifier earlier in the week — at the very same golf course — and has been at the top of his game all season.

“The qualifier definitely gave me the confidence I needed,” Flaherty said. “I knew I was coming in near the top of the state, I just had to play my game and let it come to me.”

That he did. Flaherty scored four birdies, two bogeys, and just one double-bogey while parring the rest of his holes en route to his even round of 72 to take the Class A individual title. Flaherty beat out Quinn Dilion of Gorham and Cole Binnette of Kennebunk, both of whom shot four-over rounds for 76.

In the Class C team competition, St. Dominic Academy battled all day with Kents Hill and Waynflete for the lead.

Kents Hill (332) edged out the Saints (335) by three strokes and the Flyers (336) by four to earn the Class C team crown.

“We didn’t know what to expect coming into today,” said Kents Hill senior Jack Bonneford. “The boys came through when it mattered most, we kept our heads down and stayed positive out there.”

George Fahey of Waynflete took home his second Class C individual title with his one-over round of 73. Clarice Bell of Orono claimed the girls crown with her round of 90.

“To be honest, it wasn’t even my best round, I think I was five-under at one point,” said Fahey, who tripled the 18th hole but still held on. “My putts were working early, then it was my irons. I used the driving iron a lot today (Saturday) to keep the ball in play.”

Fahey edged out Kents Hill’s Nico Von Gaudecker, who shot a 74, to take the individual crown. In the girls, Bell beat Dexter’s Caitlyn Chabot, who finished with a 93.

“This feels amazing,” Bell said. “To finish my high school career like this is truly awesome.”

Bell finished in third place at last years’ state championship. She was determined to improve this time around.

“Everything was working, my practice here really paid off,”  Bell said. “I’ve made the drive down here plenty of times, this made those trips even more worth it.”

Monmouth’s Averi Beaudoin finished tied for third with MCI’s Leah Deschaine. They were seven shots back at 97. Also for Monmouth, Reece Beaudoin (107) was seventh and Mia Luce (109) finished eighth.

Dirigo’s Wyatt Smith placed fourth in the boys individual competition, while St. Dom’s Nick Ferrence (78) took seventh, Spruce Mountain’s Matt Fenalson (81), St. Dom’s Garrett Kendal and Rangeley’s Trevor Dolbier tied for eighth.

In Class A girls, the field was no match for Noble senior Cheyenne Couture. Couture’s 13-over round of 85 bested second-place Remy Levin of Bonny Eagle by seven strokes.

The Class A team titles went to Falmouth in Class A. Paul Dilworth shot a 77, John Hwang and Jack Stowell each scored 78 for Falmouth, while Mitchell Hamm got an 82. All in all, the Navigators’ team score of 315 was enough to edge out second-place Thornton Academy, which finished with 325.

“This has been the goal since day one,” said Falmouth senior captain Dominic Tracy. “We were a bit worried about qualifying when we didn’t play at our best (on Monday). To bounce back from that and finish with a state title is pretty cool.”

While the pressure of a state championship match can sometimes be overwhelming to many, Couture made sure to keep her composure when it mattered most.

“Keeping a positive mindset and not letting myself get down from one shot was big for me,” Couture said. “I hit a few bad shots and moved on, which helped me keep my focus. My irons were really working for me and I was striking the ball well, the conditions were great.”

South Portland head coach Tom Hyland believes it’s the first individual state title in South Portland history. His instincts were correct, as Flaherty is the first golf state champion in Red Riots history.

“The driver, the driver was really working for me,” Flaherty said. “I just wanted to keep the ball in play, that was the mindset coming into today (Saturday).”

Other medalists in Class A boys included Edoardo Galazzi of Thornton Academy and Dilworth, both of whom shot 77’s. Ty Henke of Mt. Ararat, Hwang, and Stowell or Falmouth, and Parker Hilchey of Camden Hills finished tied for 6th with 78s.

Edward Little sophomore Connor Turcotte shot a 93.

On the girls side, Ruth Weeks of Greely, Taylor Gardner of Hampden Academy, and Nicole Walker of Gorham tied for 3rd with rounds of 96. Karinna Beacham of Greely finished 6th with her round of 98.


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