WINTHROP – They would scratch and claw their way back and finally get within reach of the Jay Tigers.

Then the Winthrop Ramblers would watch one of Jay’s shooters fire up from long distance and burst their bubble in one swift, easy motion.

The Tigers gave Winthrop brief glimpses of the lead Thursday night, but quickly pulled that hope away with a number of momentum-shifting shots. Jay finally managed to shake the Ramblers in the second half in a 62-49 win.

In a game where the two teams combined for 14 3-pointers, Jay had nine of those and made most of them count.

“I think it’s one thing that’s starting to come,” said Jay coach Chris Bessey. “Everyone is starting to be a little more aggressive with their shot.”

Kaylie DeMillo had six 3-pointers and finished with 34 points. Though she looks for the opportunity to shoot from long range, she found the Ramblers playing off her enough to give her ample opportunity.

“I had a lot more open looks than on a usual night, and the other girls did too” she said.

Winthrop (7-9) got within two midway through the second, but DeMillo answered with back-to-back 3-pointers. After finishing the half down 24-22, Winthrop watched Jay’s Liz LeBlanc opened the second half with a 3-pointer. After a Katie Pushard drive got Winthrop within three, Morgan Turner scored on a drive. Minutes later, Lindsey Gordon scored in the post, and DeMillo hit another pair of 3-pointers to make it 35-26.

“When a player is at that level, she’s going to get her points,” said Winthrop coach Glen Chase, whose team rallied from a 12-0 deficit to start the game. “Good players are going to score. If you can limit her to a certain number of points and then stop the players around her and hope they don’t knock down a big shot here or there. That was the difference in the game. We gave them too many easy looks.”

LeBlanc finished with 10 points, including two 3-pointers. Brianna Beisaw had seven, including a 3-pointer. Turner and Deane added six and four points respectively.

“We’re a good team when we’re shooting the ball,” said Bessey. “We have to learn that when we’re not shooting the ball that we need to settle down and run the offense and try to get a shot inside.”

Pushard led the Ramblers with 19, including two 3-pointers of her own. Gordon added 12. The Ramblers were plagued by foul trouble early on as three starters picked two or more in the first half. Amanda Garwood was nursing four fouls in the second half.

“Losing Amanda for any extended period at time is hard,” said Chase. “She’s been lights out for us lately.”

Jay (10-6) ran its offense effectively in the third quarter to break things open for good. The Tigers shot 9-for-16 from the floor and turned a two-point lead into double digits.

After DeMillo’s back-to-back 3-pointers, Winthrop got within 35-29, but Beisaw scored on a fast break and LeBlanc hit a short jumper. Baskets by DeMillo, Turner and a 3-pointer by Beisaw during a 7-3 spurt had the lead up to 46-34.

The Tigers opened the fourth with a 9-2 run that made it 55-39.

“I think we’re more patient in the second half,” said DeMillo. “We moved the ball more and that get us the open looks.”


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.