AUGUSTA — The Winthrop High School boys basketball team played like it was the unbeaten top seed on Monday night.

The Ramblers 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, a come-from-behind winner over Hall-Dale in the early game, in the regional semifinals.

It was Winthrop’s first tournament game since falling to Waynflete in last year’s South 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 a game-high 30 points to lead the Ramblers 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 gameplan against him.”

Nate LeBlanc added nine points in the win, while Garrett Tsouprake had eight. Cam Wood, Tsouprake and Spencer Steele grabbed four rebounds to lead the team.

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

“That was a big thing for us, getting out early and getting our crowd into the game,” Hickey said. “They’re a great team, 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.”

For Wiscasset (10-10), Ethan James scored a team-high 19 points, 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 of ‘I’ve got to play, I’ve got to defend.’ … We hang our hat on our defense, and we did a good job tonight. We really did.”

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