WINTHROP — In a back-and-forth contest, Winthrop girls basketball coach John Baehr said the Ramblers did the little things right.

That allowed the Ramblers to hold on for a 44-41 victory over Traip Academy on Tuesday in a Class C South preliminary game.

“We got the rebounds, we got the stops when we had to, knocking down free throws when we had to,” Baehr said. “The small things that add up over a basketball game to get the ‘W.’”

Morgan Fichthorn led the Ramblers with 23 points in the victory.

“It was really exciting, we knew it was a big game,” Fichthorn said. “A lot of pressure but we got the job done.”

No. 7 Winthrop moves on to play No. 2 Old Orchard Beach (15-3) in the regional quarterfinals next Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at Augusta Civic Center. The No. 10 Rangers’ season comes to an end with a 9-10 record.


Traip coach Jeff Gray said the Rangers played well Tuesday despite the result.

“I wouldn’t say the tale of two halves, but we just ran out of time,” Gray said. “If we had a couple more minutes, I think it would have been more thrilling.”

It was the host Ramblers who found themselves in a 6-0 hole in the first quarter. Emme Hale had four points leading the Rangers in the first eight minutes.

Baehr said it’s not uncommon for Winthrop to have a slow start.

“Being a young team, you run into those little brick walls,” Baehr said. “Then we ran our offense, spacing, got down the line and started to knock down some shots.”

A Bella Littler 3 and a Madeline Wagner bucket quickly cut the deficit for Winthrop to 11-10 in the first 30 seconds of the second quarter.


Traip center Hannah Thorsen scored the game’s next five points for a 16-10 advantage.

Fichthorn took over the final minute of the second quarter. She stepped to the free-throw line for a 1-and-1 and hit both foul shots. On the next possession, she hit a trey and ended the half hitting two more free throws.

Fichthorn said she had no idea she scored that many points.

Winthrop took a 22-18 lead into halftime.

Fichthorn continued the hot hand to begin the third with two buckets, extending the Ramblers’ lead to 26-20.

“That got me going and helped score more the rest of the game,” Fichthorn said.


The Rangers, who scored most of their points in the paint and the foul line tried their luck behind the arc in the third quarter, but couldn’t get the shots to fall.

“Like anything with a good defensive team, you have to take what they give you and create whenever possible,” Gray said. “That’s what we were trying to do.”

Winthrop built on its lead in the third. Ella Rice had five points in the quarter. Wagner had three as the Ramblers took a 36-27 advantage into the fourth.

Wagner was Winthrop’s second-leading scorer with eight points.

Traip battled right back into the game at the start of the fourth. Hale had three points and Thorsen had a bucket and the Ramblers’ lead went down to 36-32.

“I think what’s significant there is getting stops,” Gray said of the comeback. “If we take care of the basketball, those stops turn into points versus 1-and-1s shooting on the other end.”


Hale led the Rangers with 16 points while Thorsen and Lilly Stuart had 11 points.

Baehr said the Ramblers had trouble getting going in the fourth quarter.

“We stalled a bit, not on purpose,” Baehr said. “Like I tell the girls, in those stretches, you have to play to win the game, not lose the game. I thought we got a little stagnant in the fourth quarter.”

The lead stayed at five points for a bit, but then Stuart scored six points in a row, giving the Rangers a 40-39 advantage.

After Fichthorn put Winthrop up 41-40, Stuart nailed a free throw to tie it up.

Fichthorn then added the game’s final three points.


“There was a lot going on, a lot of excitement, stress, pressure,” Fichthorn said. “We were able to do all those feelings well and finished strong.”

With 32 seconds remaining, Traip called a timeout. Gray was looking to tie it up with a 3-pointer. The Rangers had a couple of chances but turned the ball over with 12 seconds left.

Baehr reiterated to the Ramblers the things that win games in the timeout.

“Just do the small things: Box out, get tips on the ball and the biggest thing is get stops,” Baehr said.

Comments are no longer available on this story