Winthrop’s Cam Wood and Mountain Valley’s Cam Godbois scramble for a loose ball during Saturday’s game in Rumford. Winthrop’s Sam Figueroa watches the play from the left. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

RUMFORD — Winthrop didn’t need extra incentive to play perhaps its best game of the season Saturday, but the opportunity to knock Mountain Valley from the unbeaten ranks had the Ramblers a little more focused.

How locked in were the Ramblers? They lit up Puiia Gymnasium for 65 percent shooting from the floor (24-for-37) and led from wire-to-wire to defeat the Falcons, 68-52.

Led by Cam Wood (19 points, six rebounds, two blocks) inside and Cam Hachey (16 points, four 3-pointers off the bench) outside, the Ramblers (9-1) got hotter as the game went along, shooting 13-for-23 in the first half, 11-for-14 in the second half, sinking all five of their attempts in the fourth quarter.

“We came out really focused,” said Hachey, a junior guard. “We made sure every shot we took was the best one on the floor.”

“It’s a huge game for us,” he added. “It gets us back on track. It’s a big confidence booster for our team moving forward.”

Keegan Davis led the Falcons (8-1) with 11 points, while Willam Bean added 10 points off the bench.

After the 6-foot-8 Wood rejected back-to-back shots underneath the basket in the opening stages of the game, the Falcons were at times reluctant to go inside and at other times too aggressive, as Winthrop defenders beat them to a spot to draw a charge on multiple occasions.

Winthrop went 14-for-21 from the foul line. Mountain Valley didn’t shoot its first free throw until 3:53 was left in the game, and finished 2-for-3.

“They’re very disciplined,” Mountain Valley coach Scot New said of Winthrop. “They step up and take charges. They make you play faster than you want to play.”

Mountain Valley actually took 24 more shots than Winthrop, thanks in part to 22 Rambler turnovers. But the Falcons made just 34 percent of their shots, including 8-of-28 (29 percent) from 3-point territory.

“We wanted to contain penetration but also close out with a hand in their (3-point shooters’) face,” Winthrop coach Todd MacArthur said. “We wanted to know where Keegan was at all times. They penetrate and kick very well, and I thought we did a good job of contesting every 3. And we did a great job of ending the possession. We always talk about how every great possession ends with a rebound, and I thought we did a good job with that.”

Winthrop made seven of 11 shots in the second quarter to build a 34-21 halftime lead, which marked it biggest cushion of the first half.

Mountain Valley started the second half in an energetic 1-2-2 zone and turned defense into offense for a 9-2 run that pulled it within 36-30 on a Cam Godbois (eight points, nine rebounds) hoop that led MacArthur to call a time out.

“We anticipated them coming out with some fire, and we had to withstand that and then settle down and go on a run of our own,” MacArthur said.

Winthrop came out of the huddle and immediately went inside to Wood for back-to-back hoops, the second on a nice high-low feed from Sam Figueroa that ended up being a three-point play, to make it 41-30 Ramblers.

The Falcons got within single digits a couple of more times in the third, the last time on a 3-pointer from Davis that made it 48-40. But when Wood passed inside to Jevin Smith (12 points, nine rebounds off the bench), who shook his defender with a quick shoulder fake and spun the other way for a layup with 1:28 left in the period, it put the margin back into double digits for good.

Winthrop got Wood going from the start of the game, and back-to-back hoops from the senior and a steal and layup from Ryan Baird (eight points, six rebounds) produced a quick 6-0 lead.

“Opening up the inside opens up our outside as well,” Hachey said. “It makes them double (Wood) in the paint and leaves me wide open in the corner and other spots on the floor.”

Hachey left the bench and almost immediately balanced Wood’s inside offense with his first two treys before Davis sparked the Falcons with a steal and crowd-pleasing dunk that pulled the Falcons within 16-11 at the end of the first quarter.

But the Falcons missed their first five shots of the second quarter as the Ramblers went on a 7-0 run to go up 23-11. Bean kept Winthrop  from pulling out of sight with eight of his 10 points in the quarter.

“They wanted it more,” New said. “They came in and they played harder. They executed better than we did. We put a lot of focus on the Wood kid inside and he pretty much had his way with us, and with their inside-out game. They shot the lights out.”

Winthrop’s Jevin Smith passes the ball past Mountain Valley’s Cam Godbois during Saturday’s game in Rumford. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

Mountain Valley’s William Bean searches for a teammate while Winthrop’s Beau Brooks and Jared McLaughlin defend during Saturday’s game in Rumford. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

Mountain Valley’s Draven Finnegan shoots the ball from downtown during Saturday’s game in Rumford. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

Winthrop’s Nate LeBlanc looks for a teammate to pass the ball to while being defended by Mountain Valley’s William Sorensen during Saturday’s game in Rumford. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

Mountain Valley’s Dylan Desroches looks past Winthrop’s Jared McLaughlin for a teammate during Saturday’s game in Rumford. Mountain Valley’s Dravin Finnegan stays at the ready on the right. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

Mountain Valley’s William Bean shoots the ball while being defended by Winthrop’s Jevin Smith during Saturday’s game in Rumford. (Sun Journal photo by Andree Kehn)

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