WINTHROP — In a back-and-forth contest, Winthrop did the little things right and that allowed the Ramblers to hold on for a 44-41 victory over Traip Academy on Tuesday in a Class C South preliminary game.

“We got the rebounds, we got the stops when we had to, knocking down free throws when we had to,” Winthrop Coach John Baehr  said. “The small things that add up over a basketball game to get the ‘W.’”

Morgan Fichthorn led the Ramblers with 23 points.

“It was really exciting, we knew it was a big game,” Fichthorn said. “A lot of pressure but we got the job done.”

No. 7 Winthrop moves on to play No. 2 Old Orchard Beach (15-3) in the regional quarterfinals at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center. The No. 10 Rangers’ season ends at 10-9.

Traip Coach Jeff Gray said the Rangers played well despite the loss.


“I wouldn’t say the tale of two halves, but we just ran out of time,” Gray said. “If we had a couple more minutes, I think it would have been more thrilling.”

The Ramblers trailed 6-0 in the first quarter. Emme Hale had four points, leading the Rangers in the first eight minutes.

Bella Littler’s 3-pointer and Madeline Wagner’s bucket quickly cut the deficit to 11-10 in the first 30 seconds of the second quarter. Traip center Hannah Thorsen scored the game’s next five points for a 16-10 advantage.

Fichthorn took over the final minute of the second quarter. She stepped to the free-throw line for a one-and-one and hit both foul shots. On the next possession, she hit a 3 and ended the half hitting two more free throws as Winthrop took a 22-18 halftime lead.

Fichthorn continued the hot hand to begin the third with two buckets, extending the Ramblers’ lead to 26-20. Winthrop built on its lead in the third. Ella Rice had five points in the quarter. Wagner had three as the Ramblers took a 36-27 advantage into the fourth.

Wagner was Winthrop’s second-leading scorer with eight points.


Traip battled back at the start of the fourth. Hale had three points and Thorsen had a bucket and the Ramblers’ lead was trimmed to 36-32. Hale led the Rangers with 16 points and Thorsen and Lilly Stuart had 11 points.

The lead stayed at five points for a bit, but then Stuart scored six points in a row, giving the Rangers a 40-39 advantage. After Fichthorn put Winthrop up 41-40, Stuart nailed a free throw to tie it up. Fichthorn then added the game’s final three points.

“There was a lot going on, a lot of excitement, stress, pressure,” Fichthorn said. “We were able to do all those feelings well and finished strong.”

With 32 seconds remaining, Traip called a timeout. Gray was looking to tie it up with a 3-pointer. The Rangers had a couple of chances but turned the ball over with 12 seconds left.

Baehr reiterated to the Ramblers the things that win games in the timeout.

“Just do the small things: Box out, get tips on the ball and the biggest thing is get stops,” Baehr said.

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