When the Belfast and Yarmouth boys tennis players stepped on the courts Saturday afternoon, June 8 at Lewiston High School to go racket-to-racket for the state Class B title, the Lions essentially were newcomers to that level of court play while the Clippers had a long, strong history of net success.

And that experience showed, on some level, as Yarmouth, the South champ, cruised to the state title with a 5-0 victory over the Lions, the North titlist.

Watch video and see more photos below.

Yarmouth, which finished third in the South, capped a 15-1 campaign with the state championship in hand. It was the school's third boys state tennis crown, the first in 2009 in Class B and the other in 1996 in Class C. The Clippers also won a regional crown in 2017.

Belfast, on the other hand, was ranked second in the North and saw its impressive unbeaten season come to an end. The Lions, who had never won a regional title or played in a state match before, finished 15-1 to cap the program's finest all-around spring.

In Saturday's state competition, the three singles matches proved competitive, while the doubles pairings were a bit more lopsided.

"We just ran into a better team," said Belfast coach Scott Benzie. "They were very strong up and down. Those were the best doubles teams we faced all year. We were competitive in the other three singles matches, but they just played a little bit better than we did in those situations and came up as the winner, but that's what happens when you get to this level.

"It's just a matter of trying to keep your composure, and get use to the speeds. I back [the doubles] up a little bit because they weren't use to the speed of the serves. Yarmouth's first serves were really aggressive and they could put a lot of spin on the ball, as well as a little bit of kick. I told them to battle back and stay with it and see what happens. Not much else you can do other than that."

The individual state match results, with Lion players listed first, were: In singles, Josh Chun lost to Archie McDonough, 6-7 (2), 2-6; Eli Jolliffe lost to Shep Shutkin, 3-6, 3-6; and Max Lewis lost to Will Nichols, 5-7, 2-6.

In doubles, Dyllan Clark and Vin Bonarrigo lost to Liam Ireland and Asher Lockwood, 0-6, 1-6; and Sam Spectre and Kyle Agbuya lost to Miles Hagedorn and G.W. Ruth, 0-6, 1-6.

The Lions, led by coach Benzie and assisted by John Cameron, enjoyed an impressive regular season and regional playoff run, which included a 3-2 win over No. 1 Caribou (14-1) in the regional final.

Earlier in the regional playoffs, Belfast beat No. 7 Old Town 5-0 and No. 6 John Bapst of Bangor 4-1. Caribou defeated No. 9 Erskine Academy of South China 3-2 and No. 5 Waterville 4-1 previously in the postseason.

In the South, Yarmouth beat No. 1 Freeport (12-2) 3-2 in the regional final, No. 7 Gardiner 5-0 in the semifinals and No. 6 Spruce Mountain of Jay 5-0 in the quarterfinals.

The day before the state championship match, the time for the Belfast and Yarmouth meeting was moved from 12:45 to 4:15 p.m.

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