Foxcroft, Dexter, Penquis cheer at regional finals

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BANGOR — Ellsworth High School rebounded from double-digit losses to defending state champion Hermon at the recent Big East and Penobscot Valley Conference championship meets to edge out the Hawks for the Class B North title at the Cross Insurance Center on Saturday.

The Eagles scored 88.2 points compared to 85.5 for runner-up Hermon in capturing their first regional crown since 2013.

Hermon, the two-time defending Class B state champion and five-time reigning regional titleholder, went first among the 15 competing teams. A couple of bobbles during its performance created an opportunity for Ellsworth, the Hawks’ primary rival in recent years.

Ellsworth, the 10th team to perform, took advantage with a clean three-minute performance that proved just enough to slip past the favored Hawks.

Hermon had defeated runner-up Ellsworth by 13.1 points (83.2-69.1) at the Big East championships and by 10.3 points (84.5-74.2) at the PVCs.

That increased confidence left the Eagles entering the regional minus the pre-performance jitters of earlier meets.

Old Town placed third at the regional with 72.5 points and will join Ellsworth, Hermon, Presque Isle (70.1), Mount Desert Island of Bar Harbor (66.2) and John Bapst of Bangor (66.2) at the state championships scheduled for Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Augusta Civic Center.

John Bapst, the final team to perform at the regional,slipped past Foxcroft Academy for the final ticket to the state championships. Foxcroft, which finished 11th at the Big East championships and tied for sixth in the PVC, placed seventh in Class B North with 59.1 points.

Other teams in the field were Erskine Academy of South China (58.4), Winslow (52.9), Caribou (51.9), Gardiner (51.2), Waterville (49.4), Washington Academy of East Machias (48.5), Mount View of Thorndike (48.0) and Nokomis of Newport (45.5).

In Class C North defending state champion Central of Corinth earned the chance to pursue that title again in two weeks after winning the crown Saturday at the Cross Insurance Center.

The Red Devils, runner-up at last year’s regional, scored 73.1 points to top this year’s 11-school field and lead six schools that qualified for the 2019 state championships to be held Saturday, Feb. 9, at the Augusta Civic Center.

Central sent a squad of 18 out onto the mat for its three-minute routine and a solid blend of cheering, jumps, dance sequences, pyramid and partner stunts, and tumbling skills.

Sumner of East Sullivan, the Downeast Athletic Conference champion and runner-up to Central at last week’s PVC Class C competition, finished second to the Red Devils at the regional with 71.2 points.

Central and Sumner will be joined at states by Houlton (65.4), Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln (65.3), Calais (58.3) and Bucksport (54.3).

Other teams at the C North regional were Orono (52.3), Narraguagus of Harrington (48.2), Dexter (46.1), Lee Academy (40.2) and Penquis (28.7).

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