MOYERS — This season at times, the Springer Cardinals could be known as the cardiac kids.

MOYERS — This season at times, the Springer Cardinals could be known as the cardiac kids.

Unfortunately, the Coleman High Wildcats weren’t impressed with the Cardinals, or their dreams of reaching the regional tournament Friday night.

Thanks to a late basket with 33 seconds left in regulation, the Wildcats managed to not only steal a 37-36 victory in the opening round of the district tournament, but end Springer’s season at Moyers High School.

In a game with plenty of controversy and physicality, it was a late 5-1 run down the last 3:12 of the game which proved to be the difference maker for the Wildcats.

Tensions ran high following the game as both teams had to be separated, with Coleman’s coaching staff personally escorting the team out of the building to the buses. 

Following the contest, an emotional Springer coach Caleb Fulton had nothing but praise for his squad.

“There’s no question these boys gave everything they had out there,” he said. “Obviously we’re disappointed with the result, but I’m super proud of the effort these guys gave. I’d like to think these young men have grown this year. They are obviously frustrated, and we’re better than we played tonight. We just didn’t get it done.”

It was a nightmare start to the game for the Cardinals, who trailed 7-0 in the first quarter before getting their first points of the evening at the 4:40 mark of the first quarter.

Springer managed to claw its way to within one point at 7-6 with 2:45 remaining in the first, but Coleman was two steps ahead as the Wildcats ended the frame on a 5-2 run to lead 12-8 going into the second.

Despite getting to within one point again at 13-12 in the second, once again the Wildcats had a response.

Coleman went on a 4-0 run to lead 17-12 with 4:34 remaining before halftime, before the Cardinals tied the game at 19-19 with 1:56 left in the second.

However as the teams went into the locker room, it was the Wildcats with all the momentum as they finished the first half with a 5-0 run to lead 24-19 going into the break.

As the third quarter began, the Cardinals confidence began to grow.

Springer began the frame on a 4-0 run to get to within one at 24-23, before taking its first lead of the game at 25-24 with 3:01 left in the quarter.

The Cardinals biggest lead of the third was four points at 28-24 with 2:24 remaining, before Springer eventually took what appeared to be a solid 29-26 advantage into the fourth quarter.

Unfortunately, just 18 seconds in to the fourth, Coleman tied the game at 29-29.

Springer briefly led 30-29 with 4:43 left in regulation, only to see the Wildcats tie the game again 30 seconds later.

Down the stretch, the Cardinals led two more times, with their biggest advantage at 35-32 with 3:12 remaining in regulation.

With 45 seconds left, it seemed all Springer had to do was ice the game at the free throw line, or pass the ball around and hope to drain as much time off as possible.

This wasn’t what happened however as Coleman stole the ball at half court and scored on a transition layup to lead 37-36 with 33 seconds remaining.

Malik Brown led Springer (17-7) with 19 points, followed by Trent Harvey and Manuel Carolina each with four points, with Jacob Perry and Tristan Amaya each scoring three points.