WINTHROP — The Winthrop boys basketball team earned a little redemption — and shook up the Mountain Valley Conference in the process — Wednesday night when it toppled front-running Dirigo 49-42 in a game between the top two teams in Class C South Heal points.

“It was a really big win for us,” Winthrop coach Todd MacArthur said. “We needed this. Dirigo is one of the best teams in Class C, so for us to compete with them, it’s just a big confidence-booster.”

Jacob Hickey scored 21 points to lead the Ramblers (11-2), who avenged a 52-41 defeat to the Cougars (12-1) on Dec. 30 at the Augusta Civic Center.

Hickey also earned some personal redemption, as he was held to just one point in the previous meeting.

“He played with a chip on his shoulder,” MacArthur said. “He really stepped up. He was disappointed in the last game against these guys. It was nice to see him step up.”

He had plenty of help Wednesday, too.

Junior guard Spencer Steele and classmate Bennett Brooks each scored 10 points for the Ramblers as well.

“We were hoping other people around (Hickey) would step up their games,” MacArthur said. “We are finding teams are trying to take Hickey and (Anthony) Owens away so we need other guys to step up. We got that (Wednesday) night and it was great to see.

“I am just really proud of our effort. This is such a big win for us. We’re going to be battle-tested going into the tournament, for sure.”

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