SOUTH BERWICK — Thornton Academy’s boys’ lacrosse team went into Thursday’s sauna-like game at Marshwood knowing its position in the Class A Heal point standings was likely locked in at No. 4.

So the focus for the Golden Trojans was to be sharp against a quality Class B team – both clubs entered with 9-4 records. Behind the playmaking of senior Ethan LeBlanc, Thornton was nearly as hot as the 85-degree weather, storming to leads of 6-0 after one quarter and 11-2 at halftime on its way to a convincing 13-6 road win.

“We just moved the ball really well. A lot of guys clicked together well. We’ve been playing together for a long time,” said LeBlanc, who had three goals and three assists – all in the first half. ”

Thornton (10-4) will now be off until next Saturday, when it will host a Class A quarterfinal.

“We lost to the three top teams. They were all close games, not blowouts by any means,” LeBlanc said. “I’m just excited for playoffs.”

Early in the season, Thornton lost consecutive games to No. 1 and unbeaten Cape Elizabeth, No. 2 Falmouth and No. 3 South Portland. Thornton was without two of its top defensemen in those games, Hayden Whitney and Kyle LeSieur. Since then, the only loss was a 13-7 decision to Cape Elizabeth. Thornton led 6-4 in the third quarter of that game.


Thornton showed it has multiple scoring threats in Thursday’s win. Junior attack Noah Veroneau recorded five goals, his fifth giving him 100 career points. Jacob Marcotte had a goal and two assists, and midfielder Cameron Raymond scored three goals.

“We thought it was very important that we make sure we’re doing the things we want to see come playoff time, and through three quarters it worked very, very well,” said Thornton Coach Ryan Hersey.

Marshwood rallied a bit in the fourth quarter, as Thornton went to backups at defensive positions. Thomas Demeroto scored four goals in the fourth quarter to go with his two assists on Kevin Cougler’s two first-half strikes.

Marshwood needed a win to have a chance to move up to fourth in Class B, which would have meant a first-round bye. Instead, the Hawks (9-5) will likely finish fifth and host a preliminary playoff game on Tuesday. Marshwood was without two of its senior captains because of injury – defender Wyatt Yager and scoring threat and midfielder Declan Fitzgerald. Yager will hopefully be back for the playoffs. Fitzgerald’s broken left wrist finished his season.

In 2021, Marshwood reached the Class B final for the first time, losing to Yarmouth. This season, the Hawks are again a possible contender in what appears to be a division with five nearly equal teams, all of which have lost at least four games – York, Brunswick, Messalonskee, Yarmouth and Marshwood.

“Oh, it’s a fight,” said Marshwood Coach Mathew Moreland. The second-year head coach said if his team can clean up the basics – throwing, catching, securing ground balls – and limit turnovers, then it can be a playoff force.

“When they’re on, they’re unstoppable. It’s just a matter of doing it on game day,” Moreland said.

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