VASSALBORO — Tournament experience. Keeping calm under pressure. Overcoming adverse weather conditions.

Thornton Academy, Cape Elizabeth and Mattanawcook used all of those qualities to take home an elusive state golf title on a cold and windy day Saturday at Natanis Golf Course.

Thornton dominated Class A, winning its first state championship since 2009. Cape Elizabeth finally got over the hump after two years of close calls to win its first Class B title since 2007. And Mattanawcook won its first state golf championship ever by defeating Old Town in the closest of the three classes.

Thornton’s top four of Hashilla Rivai, Greg Kalagais, Logan Picard and Jordan LaPlume all shot 80 or better to finish with a team total of 310 on the Tomahawk course, 14 strokes in front of runner-up Cheverus. Scarborough (326), Messalonskee (330) and Greely (334) rounded out the top five.

“Throughout the year, we’ve been very consistent. Our scores have been good all year,” Thornton coach Jeff Camire said. “We felt we were the best team coming into the tournament because we knew we had a lot of tournament experience from some of the junior tournaments. I thought the kids were ready. They were relaxed. Four of the five are seniors and the experience alone really made the difference, I think.”

“No one really played lights out. We just got it done,” Kalagais said. “We all had decent scores and got the job done.”

Rivai, the 2014 state girls champion, shot an even-par 72, the low score among all of the competitors on Saturday.

“She’s an elite player,” Camire said. “If you watch her enough, you can just see that she plays at a different level. It doesn’t matter who she’s playing with.”

Messalonskee had four players — Blake Marden, Billy Rollins, Dylan Burton and Jacob Bernatchez — shoot between 81 and 84.

“We’ve been very consistent all year. We just didn’t have somebody go low today, which is really what you have to do in the state tournament,” Messalonskee coach James Kerschner said. “But we had four respectable numbers.”

Cape Elizabeth has only one senior on its roster but still boasts plenty of tournament experience. Low-scorer Austin Legge (78) and Lauren Schonewolf (82) won the Maine Junior Amateur (age 15-17) boys and girls titles, respectively, in August,

“We’ve come in runner-up for the past two seasons, so we really wanted it this year,” Schonewolf, a junior, said. “We knew we had a better chance. It was definitely an amazing feeling.”

“It means a lot,” said team captain Bryce Hewitt, the lone senior on the team. “It took me four years to get here. It means a lot.”

The Capers capped their unbeaten season with a team total of 322, 12 strokes ahead of runner-up Old Town. Maine Central Institute (347), Mount Desert Island (350) and Gardiner (352) rounded out the top five.

Scores were higher than Tuesday’s KVAC qualifier at the same course, which was played in nearly perfect conditions with little wind. On Saturday, golfers encountered wind gusts approaching 30 mph and temperatures in the upper-40s when they teed off at 10 a.m.

“We get to the first tee and the wind chill makes it, like, 35 degrees,” Schonewolf said. “You try swinging your club and your entire body is so tight. You just had to warm up. I think a lot of people had a pretty tough start.”

Logan Thompson, the reigning Class C individual champion, shot a 78 to lead Mattanawcook to its first title by six strokes over St. Dominic (323-329), followed by Winthrop (331), Houlton (350) and Dirigo (353).

Randy Whitehouse — 622-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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