Year after year, the Medomak Valley cheering squad confirms an important and unwavering truth: the highly-talented Panthers are the benchmark in their league and region, as well serious state championship contenders.

None of that changed for the 2017-18 season.

In fact, the Panthers, as they had so many times before, earned the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference and South Class B crowns. Next up was a bid for the coveted state championship.

Well, the opportunity came near the noon hour on Saturday, Feb. 10 at the Cross Insurance Center as the Panthers put their electric routine to the test against the best of the best in Maine.

When the dust settled and the judges' scores were tabulated, Medomak Valley (77.3) had cemented the third spot in the state Class B competition.

Click for photos from this event.

Watch video below of the Panthers' state competition routine.

Two of the Panthers' annual nemesis edged Medomak Valley, as Hermon (83.5) again won the state title and Ellsworth (77.5) finished second.

Hermon has been a dynasty in the sport, as the Hawks now have captured nine of the past 12 state Class B titles (2018, 2017, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2009), while Poland won in 2008 and 2010 and Old Town in 2016.

Among the 12 teams in this year's state competition, six from the North and six from the South, Medomak Valley was the top South squad.

The Panthers, guided by head coach Heather Simmons and assistant coach Rachel Coor, include seniors Ashley Kenniston, Samantha Pelkey, Anna Wadsworth and Megan Wright; juniors Mariah Grindle, Cassandra Smeltzer and Leah Wilcox; and sophomores Cheyanne Greene, Grace Kurr, Katie Ryan, Michaela Staples and Ashley Winchenbach.

The team scores from the state Class B competition, with scores from the four judges and final tally indicated, included: Hermon, 21.7, 19.8, 19.5 and 22.5 for 83.5; Ellsworth, 19.9, 18.5, 17.4 and 21.7 for 77.5; Medomak Valley, 19.4, 16, 19.6 and 22.3 for 77.3; Old Town, 16.6, 18.4, 17.3 and 20.5 for 72.8; Gray-New Gloucester, 13.9, 15.7, 17.1 and 17.7 for 64.4; Leavitt of Turner, 17. 15, 15.8 and 16.5 for 64.3; Morse of Bath, 12, 12, 17.2 and 17.4 for 58.6; Mountain Valley of Rumford, 14.4, 15.5, 15.1 and 17.7 for 62.7 (5-point deduction, thus, finished at 57.7); Gardiner, 11.8, 13, 16.1 and 16.6 for 57.5; Erskine Academy of South China, 11.5, 15, 15.5 and 14.4 for 56.4; Mount Desert Island, 13.8, 13, 15.6 and 14.8 for 57.2 (1-point deduction, thus finished at 56.2; and Spruce Mountain of Jay, 12.6, 13, 15.2 and 14.5 for 55.3 (5-point deduction, so finished at 50.3).

Medomak Valley always presents a technically-difficult and high-energy performance to rise above most competitors. This season, the Panthers won the regional crown for the eighth straight year and KVAC Class B competition for the sixth time in eight years, both at the Augusta Civic Center.

Medomak Valley also collected league titles in 2017, 2016, 2015, 2013 and 2011.

The Panthers have never won a state crown, despite being in the running nearly every year in recent memory.

The only Midcoast cheering squad to bring home a state Class B title is the former Rockland — which combined with Georges Valley to form Oceanside — in 2003, with Coor's mom, Mary Sidelinger, as the head coach.