WINTHROP — Just about everything was clicking for the Winthrop Ramblers in Monday night’s 72-40 win over MVC rival Lisbon.

Ryan Baird scored 19 points, pulled down 11 rebounds and teamed up with Jevin Smith (12 points, seven rebounds) to dominate the paint in the first half. Cam Hachey provided plenty of balance from the perimeter with 16 points on five 3-pointers, and role players such as Ian Steele and Jacob Carter provided a spark off the bench as the Rambler improved to 15-1 in what coach Todd MacArthur said was their most complete win of the season.

“I thought tonight was probably, collectively, our best game as a whole,” said MacArthur, whose team hosts Spruce Mountain, the only team to beat them this year, on Friday night. “I thought we played complementary basketball, where we didn’t care who shot. We made the extra pass, and if the next guy made (the shot) we were genuinely happy for each other. That’s the type of basketball we’ve got to play going into the tournament.”

DJ Douglass led all scorers with 22 points, including five 3-pointers, for Lisbon (8-6).

Three long 3-pointers by Douglass helped the Greyhounds stay close in the first quarter before Winthrop, which never trailed, took control with a 12-3 run to start the second quarter.

“He’s a great shooter. He’s one of the best shooters in the conference, so he’s going to make his shots,” MacArthur said. “We just wanted to make it as tough as possible on him and try to contain him rather than stop him, because I don’t think you’re really going to stop him from making 3s.”

Baird scored the first four points of the period, then followed Hachey’s third trey of the game with a free throw that sent the margin into double digits for the first time. Steele then found Smith for a short jumper with a nice drive-and-dish along the baseline. Gavin Perkins followed that with a runner to make it 29-16 Winthrop.

“(Baird and Smith) have done a great job all season of dominating that paint, and that opens it up out on the perimeter for the perimeter players,” MacArthur said.

Another 3 by Douglass slowed the bleeding temporarily for the Greyhounds as Perkins followed with a jumper to put the lead back into double digits for good at 31-20 with 1:50 left in the half. That started an 11-2 run to finish the half, with Hachey adding another trey and Smith a hoop that made it 40-22 at the break.

“You have to pick your poison,” Lisbon coach Jake Gentle said. “You come into it hoping that you can close out on their shooters as quick as you can. Some of our keys to our game was hoping we could keep them off the offensive glass and limit our turnovers and not let them get penetration. We didn’t do a very good job, but it’s hard to do it against a team like that. They’re really talented. They’re really athletic. They’re 15-1 for a reason.”

Lisbon switched from zone to man-to-man and did a better job defending the paint to start the second half and cut the margin to 15, but it didn’t last long.

“We had six possessions coming out of halftime where we couldn’t really connect,” Baird said. “I took a bad shot. But it all kind of trickles down. Players run off of other players energy-wise. Everyone can score.”

“Coming out in the third quarter, we did the right thing. We got a couple of stops against them and we scored a couple of baskets,” Gentle said. “But then we went cold and they just kept hitting them.”

Steele (nine points) bolstered the Ramblers’ lead with a 3-pointer and a layup to make it 48-26. Hachey ensured the lead would stay at 22 with a buzzer-beating 3-pointer for a 53-31 lead.

“Ian Steele and Jake Carter, I thought they gave some valuable minutes off the bench,” MacArthur said. “It doesn’t always show up on the stat sheet in terms of points or rebounds, or whatever. Just the energy and enthusiasm they bring out onto the court, it makes us play at a level we want to play.”


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