KENNEBUNK – Third-seeded Kennebunk got its transition game going in the second half and ran away with a 12-8 win against No. 6 Thornton Academy in a Western Class A boys’ lacrosse quarterfinal Wednesday night.

The Rams (10-3) will play No. 2 South Portland on Saturday in South Portland.

It was Kennebunk’s second win of the season against the Trojans. On April 27, the Rams pulled out a 5-3 home victory.

For a time, it looked like Wednesday’s game was going to be an extremely tight, low-scoring affair, but the Rams got out on the fast break in the final 18 minutes to turn a 6-4 deficit into a big lead.

“We’re very good when we get into our groove,” Kennebunk Coach Dan Seavey said. “It’s just getting to that level and getting into our groove and keeping it going.

“When we come out playing like that, we’re dangerous.”

Kennebunk (10-3) scored four goals during the final 2:43 of the third quarter to move into an 8-6 lead. The Rams then scored four goals in the first six minutes of the fourth quarter to make it 12-6.

“Fast breaks are really our strong point,” said Josh Hussey, a junior midfielder who led the Rams with four goals and an assist. “We came out a little weak (in the first half), and at halftime coach told us to step it up, and we did that.

“We came out in the second half, and we brought the intensity.”

The Trojans (6-7) held a 5-3 lead at halftime, primarily because of their ability to score whenever the Rams had to play a man down because of an infraction. Three times during the first half, the Trojans held a man advantage, and all three times they scored.

“They play aggressively with a lot of intensity, and we knew the penalties were going to come,” Thornton Academy Coach Ryan Hersey said. “I don’t think we scored three goals on man-up anytime this year.

“It was a good way to make them pay. We kept them honest by doing that.”

The Trojans were unable to match Kennebunk’s intensity in the second half, however.

“Unfortunately, that’s been our downfall for the last few games,” Hersey said. “We’ve got to learn how to play 48 minutes.”

It showed in the statistics, as the Rams held an 18-7 edge in shots in the second half while winning nine of 11 faceoffs.

“When we get to a settled offense with (Kennebunk), we’re fine,” Hersey said. “It really was when they got to their transition game that we had trouble.”

Ryan Keefe scored three goals for Kennebunk. Tyler Elkington added a goal and two assists. Jakob Leslie, Pat Rimmer, Jacob Boothby and Bryce Fraser also scored.

For Thornton Academy, Taylor Browne had three goals and two assists. Cody Fallon scored three goals, and Zach Bryant and Daniel Giroux each scored once.

Paul Betit can be contacted at 791-6424 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: PaulBetitPPH