That’s how the Winthrop girls’ basketball team saw Thursday’s regular season finale. The Ramblers put a positive stamp on its season with a 43-31 win over Telstar.

It was the third win of the year for a Winthrop club that returned to a varsity schedule this year after playing JV a year ago.

“We all talked about it and we knew we needed to win this game,” junior forward Adlin Chaparin said. “We knew we could do it. It’s a good way to end the season. It will be a good way to enter the season next year. So it was really nice.”

While the regular season finale for both squads didn’t impact the C North standings or have any tourney implications, it was an important game for both the Ramblers and Rebels. After a season of many lopsided losses, the young and building squads from Winthrop and Telstar had a competitive game.

“It’s really nice to be with a team that we’re evenly matched with,” said Chaparin, who finished with a game-high 14 points, including 10 in the decisive fourth quarter. “Even though we know we can compete with teams like Boothbay and Mountain Valley, we just know that they have experience over us. So it’s really nice to be able to play with teams like this. They played a really hard game. It was really good competition.”

Winthrop (3-15) earned its first win in over three years by beating Telstar (0-18) 37-27 back in January. The rematch provided both teams another quality game and a great chance to end the season with a positive experience.

“I think we’ve improved since then,” said Telstar senior Becca Howard, who led the Rebels with 10 points. “I definitely think this is a great way to end the season. I’d rather play these guys instead of Madison. It was a good competitive game and really enjoyable tonight.”

What the game lacked in tournament intensity it made up for in a fun atmosphere. Both teams played hard and it was a competitive battle until the Ramblers broke open a tie game in the fourth quarter.

“It was definitely a great opportunity,” Howard said. “Not that we go into any other games thinking we’re going to lose because we give it our all every game, but it was definitely a game we could compete in. It was a bummer because last year they were a JV team. So we didn’t get to see them at all. We look forward to seeing them on the schedule.”

Brian Mills and his Telstar team weren’t sure whether they’d had a lead in the second half this winter but if so, it wasn’t a common occurrence. The Rebels were up in the third quarter. A 3 from Blair Stevens put the Rebels up 26-24. Bre Feeney tied the game and Layne Audet put Winthrop up late in the third. A free throw by Howard tied it 27-27 to set up an exciting final quarter.

“We’re a young team,” Howard said. “It’s hard not to have the experience on the floor. I know they don’t have any seniors, but they played all this summer, and we can’t seem to get a summer program running.”

Winthrop pulled away in the fourth with a 16-0 run. Chaparin led the way with 10 straight points during that surge.

“I think that once some one gets a score our momentum goes up,” Chaparin said. “That’s a time we really needed it.”

After Bri McClure hit a free throw to break the tie, Chaparin got an offensive rebound on a missed free throw for a basket. After she sank two free throws, She scored in the post and added four more points to build a 38-27 lead.

“It couldn’t have happened to a better kid,” Winthrop coach Joe Burnham said. “The amount of work that she’s put in over the last three years from when she started as a freshman to where she is now is a testament to her hard work.”

Telstar was plagued by turnovers in the fourth and had just four shots from the field through much of the fourth. A Hayley Peterson free throw was the first Telstar point with 54 seconds left. Howard had the only field goal of the quarter 10 seconds later. After Chaparin’s 10 straight for Winthrop, Shie Smith scored five straight of her own. She finished with 10 for the Ramblers. Stevens and Brooke Richardson each finished with six for Telstar.

“It’s not many teams that get to end the season with a win,” Burnham said. “I know we’re not moving forward like we had hoped, but it’ s a little bit of a silver lining. It’s a good way to head into next year.

“My hats off to the seniors on Telstar. They played their hearts out. In a competitive game, sometimes it can be frustrating but they played great.”

After being a JV team last year and readjusting to the varsity level this winter, the win was a positive step for the Ramblers that have been struggling to rebuild the program for years.

“We knew coming back to the varsity level was still going to be a big jump up,” Burnham said. “A 3-15 record is not what most people shoot for but when you add up the varsity wins over the last four years combined, it’s not three. We’re definitely headed in the right direction. We know we need to put in a strong summer. We took a big jump this year and we hope to take a bigger jump next year.”

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