SPRINGER — A quarterback in the fall season, Thackerville senior Justice Buckaloo possesses the same attributes for basketball: he can read defenses well, dribble penetrate to the basket and has the vision to pass the ball into tight windows.

Buckaloo scored 10 of his 15 points during the first quarter as the Wildcats built a commanding 20-0 lead and cruise to a 53-14 win over Springer on Monday evening.

“He’s definitely the tone setter,” Thackerville coach Steve Short said.

Although Buckaloo set the tone offensively, it was the play of the Wildcats’ defense that ignited the fast start.

Thackerville jumped on several passes for steals, including seven in the first quarter. Several of those turnovers were converted into layups.

A steal by Buckaloo led to a made free throw by Trevor Rios for a 20-0 Wildcats lead 100 seconds into the second quarter.

“Last week, we said that we want to finish the season strong, and even though we are playing some teams that we have already beat, like Bray-Doyle last Friday, which we beat pretty easily,” Short said. “Tonight, we really pushed the ball and got a lot of easy baskets. They worked hard on defense tonight, which allowed us to get a lot of easy buckets.”

Springer’s first points came on a right-handed jump shot by Christian Wallace with 4:17 remaining before halftime.

Wallace led Springer with five points. 

A running clock was used during the second half.

Ethan Wilson added 12 points in the victory for Thackerville.

Box score

Thackerville: 53 (Justice Buckaloo 15, Ethan Wilson 12, Tyler Sanger 6, Blake Brawley 5, Jakoda Ballard 4, Ethan Doe 4, Anthony Sanders 4, Stetson Voyles 2, Trevor Rios 1).

Springer: 14 (Christian Wallace 5, Miles Cunningham 3, Nemacio Rodriguez 3, Jakob Shaw 3)

Free throws

Thackerville 11-23, Springer 3-7

Three-pointers

Thackerville 6 (Sanger 2, Wilson 2, Brawley, Sanders), Springer 2 (Rodriguez, Shaw)