WINTHROP — Coach John Baehr emphasized ball movement leading up to Winthrop’s game against Mt. Abram on Monday.

“Coach Baehr really wanted us to share the basketball because the past couple games we haven’t really been, like, everybody touching the basketball,” Winthrop guard Ella Rice said. “So that’s what he’s been preaching during the past few practices and in the locker room before the game.”

The Ramblers executed from the start, grabbing a quick early lead and rumbling to a 55-28 Class C South girls basketball victory over the Roadrunners.

“We talk about energy and sharing the basketball, and we’ve kind of gotten away from that at times this season, especially against the really good teams,” Baehr said. “Tonight it was just a point of emphasis of get up and down the floor, share the basketball, shoot the basketball with confidence, and have fun doing it.”

Shortly after the opening tipoff, Winthrop (10-4) passed the ball around and quickly found freshman Kylee Mansir open, and she drained a 3-pointer. Mansir hit another trey to give Winthrop a 6-0 lead.

The Ramblers scored the first 11 points of the game. Rice also hit a pair of 3-pointers in the first quarter, after which Winthrop led 21-3.


The ball movement paid off.

“It definitely opened up the 3-point line a lot, and they were packing it in more, so it was easier for us to shoot,” Rice said. “Obviously, today we were on with our shooting — some days we have off days, some days we don’t, but today we were on.”

Winthrop also forced Mt. Abram (5-8) into mistakes with an effective press defense.

“We didn’t handle the pressure real good — the full-court pressure — to start with, on our press breaker,” Roadrunners coach Jason Wing said. “So that hurt us, to get in the hole to start with.”

The Ramblers scored the first 11 points of the second period to build a convincing 32-3 advantage.

“I’m proud of the girls, the way they came out and just played the game of basketball the way it should be,” Baehr said. “When the ball’s moving like that, it is fun to watch and it’s fun to play.”


Mt. Abram’s Bailea Haines scored the final six points of the first half to cut the Roadrunners’ deficit to 34-10.

“She’s been big for us this year, a few times,” Wing said.

Rice scored 14 of her game-high 16 points and made all three of her 3-pointers in the first two quarters.

“Very fortunate, her and (Madeline) Wagner have started for us for the last two years, they’re only juniors,” Baehr said. “They didn’t know what to expect in the program and how to, you know, lead by example. They did a great job tonight.”

Wagner finished with 10 points Monday.

Haley Williams, the only senior who suited up for Monday’s game, scored all seven of her points in the third quarter, helping the Ramblers’ cushion grow as comfortable as 44-10. Williams also grabbed seven rebounds and had five steals.


Winthrop played all 10 of its players in the first half, and Baehr shuffled them all in and out of the game throughout the third and fourth quarters, including the team’s four freshmen.

Wing said Mt. Abram played much better in the second half, especially on offense.

“Getting some screens and stuff like that, some ball movement — a lot better than the first half,” Wing said.

He later added, “More screens freed our players up a little bit.”

The Roadrunners are an inexperienced squad, with no seniors and five juniors.

“We’re still young, everyone’s still trying to figure out their roles on this team,” Wing said.


Haines led Mt. Abram in scoring with nine points. She also tallied five rebounds and a couple of steals. Jenna Osgood added seven points.

Mansir finished with three 3-pointers and 13 points to go along with five rebounds for Winthrop.

Next up for the Ramblers is a home matchup with Oak Hill (1-12). Winthrop has four games remaining, and Baehr said the team’s focus will be on overall improvement and peaking when the postseason comes around.

“We just got to keep getting better in what we preach, you know, sharing the basketball and play our style of basketball,” Baehr said.

Monday’s game was a good example of how good the Ramblers can be.

“I learned that if we share the ball and get up and down the floor, we’re a tough team to beat,” Baehr said. “We shoot the ball with confidence, we trust each other defensively, we’ll be a tough out.”

Mt. Abram has five games left. Wing said the Roadrunners want to grow throughout the remainder of the season so they’ll be ready to compete next year.

“We’re still trying to find our identity, with no seniors on this team,” Wing said. “Ball handlers are trying to find their roles, how to feel some pressure. We’re basically working on next year, at this point.”

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