WINTHROP — With Richmond down by a point and inbounding the ball with 8.2 seconds left to play, there wasn’t a person in the gym who didn’t know where the ball was going.

The question was could Winthrop keep the ball away from Sydney Tilton. The answer was the Ramblers couldn’t. Tilton came off a double screen and dribbled to the basket and scored with just over a second left to give the Bobcats a 46-45 victory in the regular-season finale for both teams.

“I knew once I came around that corner I was going to the basket,” Tilton said. “I saw no one there. I knew I had the position over (the defender). But they gave us a fight the whole time. I give them kudos.”

The Bobcats finish the season at 13-5 in Class C South with a much tougher schedule than they had a year ago.

“It was a good little test for us,” Richmond coach Mike Ladner said. “Last year we went 18-0 and were tested once all season. When we got to the tournament we weren’t really prepared. I feel like having a tougher schedule this it’s only going to help us and make us better come tournament time.”

The Ramblers (7-11) lost their last nine games of the season, many of them close but few tougher than this one. They will still squeeze into the tournament and earn at least a prelim game.


“In terms of moving forward there are some positives we take out of this game and every game,” Winthrop coach Joe Burnham said. “This one stings. It’s the most recent one in a long line of them.”

The game centered around Richmond’s foul trouble, first Tilton’s and later Ashley Abbott and Caitlin Kendrick. Tilton, who finished with 22 points and 14 rebounds, picked up her third foul with 3:39 left in the second quarter and her team leading 13-8. When she went to the bench the Ramblers took full advantage running off eight straight culminated by Aaliyah Wilson-Falcone’s steal and layup to make it 15-13, Winthrop. Kendrick stopped the bleeding with a 3-pointer from the left side to give the Bobcats a 16-15 lead at the break.

Tilton pumped in eight straight points in the third quarter to give her team a 26-21 lead before picking up her fourth foul with 2:49 left in the period.

“A lot of stupid fouls,” said Tilton, who was called for two rebounding fouls. “For my team and for myself I’ve got to be stronger than that.”The teams traded 3-pointers as Lancaster hit one for the Bobcats and Kena Souze answered for the Ramblers. The Abbott sandwiched two more 3s around one from Jilian Schmelzer as the Bobcats took a 35-30 lead innto the fourth quarter.

When Aboott and Lancaster each picked up their fourth fouls early in the fourth quarter, the Ramblers went to work as they forced Richmond turnovers and got to the line or converted layups. They scored nine straight capped by a Katie Perkins layup to take a 39-35 lead.

Ladner planed to bring Tilton back in the game at the six minute mark but she didn’t get onto the floor until there was 4:52 left.

It was just enough, barely. The Ramblers went up 45-40 on consecutive inbounds layups from Layne Audet and Schmelzer (12 points). But Tilton scored the last six points of the game on ough drives to the hoop to put the game away.

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