LEWISTON — As if to make up for a time shed to the pandemic, the semifinalists in the state singles tennis tournament set on a present Monday at Lewiston Higher.
And the major stars turned out to be a pair of freshmen.
Sofia Mavor of Yarmouth and George Cutone of Kennebunk capped off outstanding operates through the Maine Principals’ Association’s 3-working day tourney by rallying to victory towards opponents who created them receive their titles. It was the initial time there were two freshmen singles championships given that 1987, when Eric Blakeman of North Yarmouth Academy and Lauren Rioux of Kennebunk won.
The leading-seeded Mavor overcame a bumpy get started prior to beating No. 3 Morgan Warner of Waynflete 6-4, 6- following Warner experienced gutted out a practically 3-hour semifinal towards No. 2 Blair Hollyday of Cape Elizabeth. Warner’s 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 victory took so long to comprehensive, it pushed back the start off of the Mavor-Warner finale.
“I was pretty positive I was fresher than she was,” Mavor explained. “Knowing that, I could possibly have loosened up a minimal too considerably, imagining she would be drained.”
As a substitute, Warner jumped to a rapid 4-2 lead prior to Mavor, who experienced overwhelmed her fellow remaining-hander in straight sets throughout a typical-season match a 7 days before, assumed management amid a blustery, swirling wind.
“Sofia played wonderful in the wind,” Warner reported. “She’s an athlete. She’s reliable but also hits a difficult ball at the exact time.”
Mavor became the third member of her family members to acquire a condition singles crown, becoming a member of sister Lana (2017) of Yarmouth and father Brian (1982) of Cape Elizabeth. Sofia confronted yet another lefty, fourth-seeded Lincoln Academy senior Caitlin Cass, in a 6-, 6-3 semifinal victory before Monday.
Neither Mavor nor Cutone, seeded 2nd in the boys’ draw, had dropped a solitary sport in any of their a few early-spherical matches Friday and Saturday. Cutone shut out an additional opponent, third-seeded Waynflete senior Ben Adey 6-, 6- Monday morning and No. 4 Caleb Fockens of Foxcroft Academy was toppling leading-seeded Leif Boddie, a tricky-serving 6-foot-5 junior from Greely, 6-3, 6-.
Fockens experienced moved to Cambridge, Maine, from Greenwich, Connecticut, in 2019, just soon after his sophomore year in higher school. He had innovative to the Round of 16 as a freshman and quarterfinals as a sophomore in Connecticut’s largest substantial school division and experienced not been challenged this spring in northern and jap Maine.
Going through Cutone, a 5-foot-3, 115-pound dynamo with the footwork of a dancer, was absolutely a challenge.
“He’s unbelievably athletic,” Fockens reported. “It’s been a whilst given that I’ve played someone as athletic and intense on the courtroom as him. It was fun.”
Cutone prevailed 5-7, 7-6 (7-5), 6-1 as significantly for his shot-creating qualities as for his health and fitness degree. Fockens took a health-related timeout early in the next set since of cramping in his hand and Cutone surged to a 5-1 direct. Fockens roared back to win 5 consecutive games just before Cutone held provide to pressure a tiebreaker. Cutone fell driving 4-3 but received 4 of the upcoming five details to win the established and increase a match that lasted just in excess of two several hours.
“I was not super nervous,” Cutone explained of the breaker. “It could have just been adrenaline.”
Cutone broke serve to open the third set and went on to get the ultimate 4 online games in succession.
“Mentally he’s the strongest player I’ve ever coached,” reported Kennebunk Mentor Paul Gaylord. “You cannot tell when he’s successful or losing. You do not see terrible overall body language. You really don’t see slumping shoulders, issues like that.”
A fellow coach observing the match advised Gaylord that in 1 set he had found Cutone strike every single shot in tennis. Never in advance of experienced he observed that.
“That indicates forehand slice, backhand slice, topspin off both of those sides,” Gaylord stated. “That usually means overheads, volleys, fall shots, fall volleys, lobs, topspin lobs. It’s crazy.”
Soon after an awards ceremony, Fockens left Cutone with these parting terms:
“You are the most athletic kid I have ever met, I swear.”