SPRINGER — For the first time in decades, the Springer boys are district champs.
The Cardinals used a smothering defense and a strong penetrating offense to pull away for a 62-36 victory over Tupelo Saturday night to capture the Class B, District 6 championship.
The Springer girls were not as fortunate as they dropped a hard-fought 45-31 game to Tupelo.
The girls move on to take on the loser of last night’s Coleman/Earlsboro game in the consolation bracket Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at Coleman. And for the first time, the boys will be playing the primetime game Thursday when they take on the Coleman/Earlsboro winner at 8 p.m. at Coleman.
The Springer defense was too much for Tupelo to deal with. The Cardinals picked up 23 steals and forced 36 Tigers turnovers. Many of the Springer steals resulted in fast-break buckets at the other end. The Cardinals took a 15-5 lead after the opening period and extended their lead to 33-13 by intermission.
“Our defense is the key to our success this season,” Springer coach Robert Bradley said. “We use the full-court pressure and our quickness to generate high percentage opportunities on the offensive end. The players are very excited at being the first Springer team in decades to win a district championship. The community is excited and happy for them.”
Springer (22-3), and ranked No. 17 in Class B, hit 20 of 46 from the floor and held Tupelo to just 37 percent (14 of 38). Seven of the 14 Tiger buckets came in the fourth against Cardinal reserves.
Tristan Rogers paced the Cardinals with 20 points, including 12 of 14 from the line. Quan Brown had 14 points, and Darius Roberts finished with 10 points.
Chisum Henry’s 12 points led Tupelo in scoring.
The Springer girls stayed close through three periods and trailed 28-21 heading to the fourth. But foul troubles forced two Cardinal starters to the bench. The Tigers finished off a 17-10 edge in the fourth.
“It was really hard for our girls to settle down tonight,” Bradley said. “We lost our composure and got into foul trouble that we struggled with throughout the game. I believe we will rebound from this and play well this week at Coleman.”
Audrey White’s 15 points led the Cardinals (16-10), with nine of those coming from the line. Caden Ingram finished with 11 points, and Brittany White chipped in five for all the Cardinal points.
Tupelo (16-9) was led by Kate McCoy’s 12 points, with Britteny Sanders and Kayley Sanders chipping in 11 points each.