AUGUSTA — Even with a lower-than-usual seeding, the Waynflete boys basketball team proved it’s just as dangerous as it’s always been.

Matt Adey scored 10 points, Ed Cox scored nine and the eighth-seeded Flyers, riding a dominant defense, knocked off two-time defending champion and No. 1 seed Winthrop 44-26 in the Class C South quarterfinals Monday at the Augusta Civic Center.

Waynflete improved to 10-9. Winthrop, which defeated the Flyers en route to its second straight state championship two seasons ago, finished 14-5.

Andrew Foster scored 15 points to lead the Ramblers, but he didn’t have much help. Winthrop’s offense stalled from the beginning and never got going.

“Nothing went right,” Winthrop coach Todd MacArthur said. “Didn’t make shots, didn’t take care of the ball, didn’t execute. It was an avalanche of bad things. Snowball effect, one thing bad and it just kept going. But with that being said, you’ve just got to tip your cap to Waynflete. They’re a hell of a program.”

Indeed, the Ramblers’ struggles were in large part due to the defense the Flyers played. Winthrop came out determined to work the ball around and try to catch Waynflete in difficult positions, but the Flyers kept the halfcourt, especially inside the arc, air tight.


“It was really communication in the back, and having our hands up the whole time,” Cox said. “We knew from the start that they weren’t very good 3-point shooters, so we tried to (position) ourselves more in the paint and then we had two guys at the top always ready to pick off passes.”

Winthrop didn’t make a 3-point shot all game.

“My teams have played a lot of zone in the past, and in the past three or four years we haven’t played that much zone,” Waynflete coach Rich Henry said. “This year we played zone against a couple of teams and we got pretty good at it. We wanted to see how they shot on this big court.”

Winthrop’s Logan Baird maneuvers through Waynflete’s defense during a Class C South boys basketball quarterfinal Monday at the Augusta Civic Center. Andy Molloy/Kennebec Journal

While Waynflete’s defense was terrific to start, its offense was not. The Flyers led only 4-3 after the first quarter, and MacArthur said he felt his team had survived the early struggles.

“That was the exact conversation I had in the huddle,” he said. “I said ‘As bad as we played, we weathered the storm. Now we need to kick it in gear.'”

Instead, it was Waynflete getting the message. Consecutive baskets by Cox, followed by another from David Nkingi, pushed the Flyers’ lead to seven, and Waynflete also ended the half on a 7-0 run to go ahead 21-7. Back-to-back threes to start the third from Cole Isherwood and Adey pushed the lead to 20 and made it clear that there would be no comeback.


“We’re not the world’s best half-court offensive team,” MacArthur said. “One of the things that we’ve done all year long is we’ve been able to turn people over and get out and run and score in transition. That usually loosens us up, and then we start to play better in the half. That just didn’t happen for us. I think when we weren’t able to do that, we got more tense in the half.”

Instead, the second half saw Waynflete pull away.

“It’s really satisfying,” Cox said. “We’ve worked hard this whole season, getting better every day. To come out here and make an upset like this is really special for the team and for the program.”

Henry had compliments for the Ramblers afterward, considering their work over the last two tournaments.

“They have been the epitome of consistency the past three or four years,” he said. “I tip my cap to them.”

MacArthur said he was looking at the positives with how the team performed this season.

“One game doesn’t define your season, as much success as we’ve had recently,” he said. “We can look back and be very proud of some of the things we accomplished.”

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