AUGUSTA — The top-ranked Winthrop High School boys’ basketball team took a big lead early in the first quarter and never looked back, running away to a 76-42 win over No. 9 Wiscasset in the Class C South quarterfinals at the Augusta Civic Center. Winthrop (19-0) will meet No. 4 North Yarmouth Academy in the regional semifinals at 8:30 p.m. Thursday.

It was Winthrop’s first tournament game since falling to Waynflete in last year’s regional final, and the Ramblers took the drama out of their return to the Civic Center early.

“They came in here focused, with what happened last year leaving a little bit of a (bad) taste in our mouths,” Coach Todd MacArthur said. “They came in focused, and they’ve got a job to do. We’re looking at it one game at a time, and there were no nerves. These kids came out (and) played. They’re comfortable here.”

Jacob Hickey, back in the Civic Center after being named the most outstanding player of last year’s tournament, scored 30 points despite not playing much in the final quarter with the game well in hand.

“I said to him ‘This is our fourth year together. Let’s go out there and have fun,’ ” MacArthur said. “I’m glad he’s on my side. I wouldn’t want to game plan against him.”

Nate LeBlanc added nine points, while Garrett Tsouprake had eight.

Winthrop led 39-18 at halftime and 55-30 after three quarters.

“That was a big thing for us, getting out early and getting our crowd into the game,” Hickey said. “Our first game against them, it was close. I think we were losing at the half or tied, something like that. … We wanted to make sure we got out in front of them quickly tonight.”

Ethan James scored 19 points for Wiscasset (10-10), but only six in the first half.

“We had to know where he was at all times,” MacArthur said. “One of the things about this group is they like challenges. Garrett Tsouprake guarded him, and he liked the challenge. … We hang our hat on our defense, and we did a good job tonight. We really did.”