SACO — Visions of last season’s overtime loss in the Western Class A quarterfinals might have been creeping into the minds of the Thornton Academy veterans Wednesday night.
But the seventh-seeded Trojans had just enough this year to squeeze past gritty Marshwood.
The 10th-ranked Hawks came nearly all the way back from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit but Thornton held on for a 34-33 girls’ basketball prelim win.
“We all know the name of the game is survive and advance,” said Thornton Coach Eric Marston. “That’s what they did against us in the quarterfinals last year and fortunately we were able to do that against them this year.”
Thornton (12-7) will play second-seeded Deering (16-2) in a quarterfinal at 3:30 p.m. Monday at the Portland Expo.
Marshwood (9-10) trailed 33-31 with 19 seconds left when Olivia Shaw picked off a pass on the perimeter, her seventh steal of the game. Shaw missed the front end of a 1-and-1 on Thornton’s previous possession.
“I didn’t want to let my team down. I was disappointed I missed the free throw but you have to wipe it off and get back on defense, and I was lucky to get the steal,” Shaw said.
After the steal, Marshwood quickly fouled Emily Richard, who made her first free throw and missed the second.
Needing a 3-pointer to tie, Jill Gori passed up an opportunity at the arc and drove the lane for a 2-pointer as time expired.
“We had four seniors who played their butts off for three years,” Marshwood Coach Lee Petrie said, referring to Gori, Abby Hyson, Sarah Ferguson and Ali Schoff. “Who takes the most charges in the league? Jill Gori. She gives everything. I’m not even going to question what she does in her last moments in high school basketball.”
Shaw scored a game-high 19 points; Hyson had 10. Megan McLean hit two 3-pointers in a strong start for the Hawks and ended with eight points.
McLean’s 3-pointers put the Hawks up 8-1. Marshwood used trapping pressure defenses to fluster Thornton into seven turnovers in the first six minutes, building a 15-5 lead.
“They took us out of our game. We turned the ball over like it was our job,” Marston said.
Shaw then stepped up, putting in an offensive rebound to close the quarter, making two free throws off her own steal, hitting a 3-pointer and then finishing as the trailer on the break to cut the Hawks’ lead to 17-16.
Also, Thornton’s zone got active, leading to 11 turnovers.
After a four-point second quarter, Marshwood scored a single point in the third, going over 12 minutes without a basket.
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at: