AUGUSTA, Maine — Redemption was Lewiston’s goal as much as winning an eighth consecutive regional cheering title on Saturday.
On Jan. 16, Bangor shocked Lewiston and ended the Blue Devils’ streak of eight consecutive KVAC cheering titles. The two teams returned to the Augusta Civic Center 12 days later to determine the fate of Lewiston’s streak of regional titles in the Class A North championship.
Performing a much more crisp and energetic routine than Monday’s, the Blue Devils showed how much they wanted redemption and won their eighth regional title in a row.
“I think the KVAC championship was an eye-opener for them,” Lewiston coach Lysa Laverdiere said. “They’ve been coming in every day putting their best foot forward to make sure that didn’t happen again.”
“We definitely had to come back together and to regroup,” senior Alison Porter said. “It was a learning experience and I think we really needed it.”
Lewiston needed every edge it could muster, as it turned out, to hold off Bangor, 87-85. Both teams advanced the state finals on Feb. 11 at the Augusta Civic Center, as did Brewer (76.4), Oxford Hills (73.3), Hampden (71.9) and Oxford Hills (68.2).
Bangor co-coach Kate Robichaud said the score reinforces the message the Rams sent at KVACs, that they are ready to challenge the Blue Devils.
“We’re definitely not disappointed,” she said. “They did the best that they could do today. Lewiston is an amazing program. They’re probably the best program in the state and have been for a while, so to be this close to them is something that we’ve been striving for.”
“We just told them let this help you improve. We’ve got two weeks,” co-coach Stephanie Crane said.
Lewiston made good use of its time to prepare thoroughly for regionals, but Laverdiere is glad to have two weeks to prep for states.
“Today wasn’t a perfect performance, and I think we’re all pretty shocked at the results. We’re happy,” she said. “What we’ve been working on is cleaning up a lot of areas. We’ve been pushing our jumps really hard. We know our stunts and our tumbling already have the difficulty, so we’ve been focusing on the other parts of the score sheet, which is what I think helped us today.”
“The huge difference was the energy in our performance and the small changes that the judges wanted to see in our routine,” Porter said.
The Blue Devils have won five of the last six Class A state titles and two in a row. They seem to think they won’t have complete redemption unless they keep that streak alive, too.
“I’m happy that we can all come back together and be a team,” Porter said, “but we definitely have a lot more work to do and we have to push for two more weeks until states”.