WINTHROP — The Winthrop Ramblers’ stellar, first-half performance afforded them a third-quarter lull against ravenous Monmouth Academy on Monday.

Winthrop bounced back into its groove by the middle of the final stanza to glide away with a 65-47 victory in a boys basketball game.

“Offensively, we started to move the ball and shot the ball much better,” Winthrop coach Todd MacArthur said. “We are a brand of basketball where we want to play inside-out basketball, get the ball inside, kick it out to our shooters.

“I thought, for the most part, we did a good job being efficient on the offensive end. I thought our defense in the first half was spectacular. We caused a lot of turnovers and created the pace we wanted to play, which was speed them up, make them make decisions they are not used to making at that pace.”

Thanks to a 38-18 halftime lead, the Ramblers survived the fast-and-furious Mustangs, who outscored Winthrop 18-13 and cut its lead to 15 going into the fourth.

“We would like to believe that we don’t have a lot of quit in us,” Monmouth coach Wade Morrill said. “We try hard. That’s what we kind of do. We want to be a good team. So you can’t quit if you want to be a good team, even when you are not having your best night. 

“A lot of credit to Winthrop — well-coached. They play hard. They have a good system … and they executed well. Winthrop has been the gold standard for a long time in Class C. Coach Todd has done a great job here.”

Monmouth got as close as 13 points in the final quarter, as the Ramblers didn’t hit a basket for nearly three minutes.

Then Winthrop’s Ian Steele (nine points) went to the line and made four consecutive free throws and back-to-back trips the foul line, the second set coming with 5:12 left in the game. His freebies sparked Winthrop’s offense, and the Ramblers ran the court from there. Guard Gavin Carter also turned in a nine-point performance that eventually gave Winthrop the edge.

The Mustangs’ started seizing momentum late in the second quarter and carried it over to the second half. Guard Manny Calder scored 11 of his game-high 21 points in the third as Monmouth took advantage of Winthrop’s sudden deep freeze in that quarter. Calder’s backcourt counterpart, guard Cam Armstrong, scored 15 points and knocked down three of Monmouth’s five 3-pointers.

“One of things we always talk about (playing) against Monmouth is they play with such energy and passion that they are going to go on runs, and you always have to match their intensity or you are going to allow them to go on runs,” MacArthur said. “I didn’t think we came out at the halftime matching their intensity.

“They are a never-die program. They are going to compete 32 minutes. We just got to make sure that we continue to play 32 minutes, even with a 20-point lead. That’s what championship teams do.”

Winthrop owned the first half, especially in the first quarter when its defense put the kibosh on the Mustangs’ offense.

Junior guard Logan Baird, who hit three of Winthrop’s five 3-pointers, took control of the perimeter and scored 10 of his team-high 18 points. The Ramblers scored another 18 points while holding Monmouth to 12 in the second quarter.

“All around, we were doing really good (at) making our shots,” Baird said. “The defense was really good in the beginning. 

“(The Mustangs) were fired up the entire game. They were down at the half and they came out even more energetic in the second half. They did good.”

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.