AUGUSTA — Jacob Hickey’s last trip to the Augusta Civic Center came over Christmas break, and it was one to forget. When he returned Monday, he buried it — and a whole lot of shots.

Hickey scored 33 points to lead second-seeded Winthrop to a 74-47 win over No. 7 Old Orchard Beach in a Class C South boys basketball quarterfinal Monday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Garrett Tsouprake added 12 points and seven rebounds for the Ramblers (16-3). Ian Regan led the Seagulls (14-6) with 16 points.

Winthrop advanced to the semifinals, where it will face No. 6 Boothbay (13-7) at 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Hickey, a junior guard, scored just one point against Dirigo in the December visit to the capital. By the end of the first quarter on Monday, he had nine points. Before the end of the game, he was threatening the tournament record for most free throws made in one game.

“I think my teammates did a great job of getting me open. They set great screens for me,” Hickey said. “I think that helped a lot.”

OOB employed a 1-3-1 defense for most of the game. The Ramblers countered by reversing the ball and having their guards find openings to drive or pass.

“Spencer (Steele) and Nate (Scott) both did a great job attacking the hoop and that opened up lanes for me to shoot and also opened up alleys for our bigs to get nice, open layups,” Hickey said.

“To be honest with you, I was looking forward to (the 1-3-1) because we’ve seen so much stuff that it’s probably good for Jacob to catch the basketball in space rather than having somebody in his face all the time,” Winthrop coach Todd MacArthur said. “Once we settled down, took care of the basketball, attacked the seams and got the ball to our bigs down low, it seemed like we figured it out.”

The Ramblers shot 20-for-36 (56 percent) from the field but didn’t really get warmed up until the second quarter, when they made seven of 10 shots as their lead ballooned from six to 14 at the half.

Much of that occurred with starting center Anthony Owens on the bench due to foul trouble. But Tsouprake and freshman reserve Cameron Wood were tough in the paint with nine combined points in the period.

Hickey got the Ramblers going with two of his four 3-pointers for the game, the second making it 29-17 Winthrop. Tsouprake scored inside, then fed Wood for a hoop that made it a 14-point margin.

“Early on, I had to step it up because Anthony was in foul trouble,” Tsouprake said. “Cam came off the bench and made some plays in the first half and we got it going at the end of the second quarter.”

The Ramblers led by as much as 17 early in the third quarter before the Seagulls made a run behind three 3-pointers from Regan to cut the margin to 48-39 with 1:40 left in the third. Winthrop responded by going back inside, this time to Owens, and upped the cushion to 13 heading into the fourth.

The Seagulls never got closer than 12 in the final frame. Hickey made 15 free throws for the game and was one away from tying the record of 16 established by Hall-Dale’s Brad Moore in 1971, but his last attempt of the night rimmed out.

“That’s always a nice sign to see here at the Civic Center, when your players get to the line,” MacArthur said.

“Collectively, this is what we want,” he added. “We had kids step up tonight that we know that can play. Like Garrett Tsouprake, who I thought had a great game. It’s nice to see Spence and Bennett (Brooks) and Nate Scott and those guys step up. Collectively, it was a nice win for all of us.”

Randy Whitehouse — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @RAWmaterial33

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