WINTHROP – The second half tends to be a strength of the Winthrop girls’ basketball team.

The Ramblers have developed a knack for recharging its batteries at halftime and coming out fully energized.

Winthrop needed that boost Tuesday and used it to shake St. Dom’s in a 46-30 win in a Western C preliminary game.

The Ramblers (9-10) advance to the quarterfinals at the Augusta Civic Center next Tuesday. They’ll play second-ranked Waynflete, an unbeaten team that has only played three teams with winning records, including St. Dom’s.

“We came out with a purpose,” said Winthrop coach Glen Chase. “We’ve been able to come out in the second half very well. It’s very few games where we have come out flat. We come out of the locker room at halftime and play really well and get shots going.”

The Ramblers had struggled against the Saints (11-8) in the first half. Neither team was effective offensively, combining to shoot 7-for-48. Though the Ramblers held a 16-14 lead at the half, it had relied solely on its outside game. Winthrop had been drawn into a slow-paced first half and had struggled to make use of any post play.

“We just knew that we wanted this more, and we had to come out with more intensity because we knew they were going to come out with it,” said Rambler guard Amanda Garwood.

Garwood led the Ramblers with 16 points while Katie Pushard added eight. Brianna Tupper and Justine Woodman each had seven. Abby Gilbert led the Saints with 13 points.

“Their guards are real quick,” said St. Dom’s coach Chet Lenfestey. “We knew that coming in. We knew that they were going to be tough to handle. We didn’t see anything that surprised us. We saw what we expected.”

In the first minutes of the third quarter, the Ramblers looked like a new team. On its first possession, Winthrop got the ball into the paint for Anna Smithgall and two easy points. Then after a St. Dom’s turnover, the Ramblers pushed the ball up the floor for a Pushard jumper.

After a drive by Gilbert, who had all six of the Saints points in the third quarter, the Ramblers offense bubbled over with nine straight points.

“It came down to execution of what we’ve been working on in practice all week,” said Chase. “They took us down a little bit. They changed their zone up a little bit. We had to make our adjustments at halftime.”

Pushard and Garwood led the Ramblers, creating a faster paced game and helping mix up the offense. After a Pushard drive, Garwood scored on a fast break. Woodman scored off a steal, and Pushard hit a jumper. After a Garwood free throw it was 29-16. Winthrop finished off the quarter with a jumper from Tupper and a drive by Kaley Ball.

“We had a good halftime talk,” said Garwood. “Everybody knew they had to step up. It was a great team effort.”

The Saints struggled to match the Ramblers pace or adjust to Winthrop’s defense. After shooting 4-for-23 in the first half, including 0-for-11 in the first quarter, the Saints shot 3-for-10 in the third quarter.

“We struggled,” said Lenfestey. “We were a little nervous. We have some young kids, and they were a little tight.”

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