THACKERVILLE — With two seconds left and the result secure, Springer coach Caleb Fulton called a timeout. The second-year Cardinals coach reminded his players to exhibit character while on the court, while in a public space.
Fulton praised his players’ poise in a 36-31 win Friday at Thackerville High School.
Each Springer player experienced the joy of winning his first high-school basketball game.
“The guys were excited,” Fulton said, adding the team wants its confidence to build as a result of the win, the Cardinals’ first of 2016-17. Springer went winless during the 2014-15 and 2015-16 seasons.
“We led the whole game but hadn’t been in that situation so I wasn’t sure how the boys would handle it, but they stepped up,” Fulton said. “We were up 20-13 right before half and Tristan Amaya hit a buzzer-beater 3-pointer to put us up 10 going in to the half.”
Amaya, a freshman, led Springer (1-12, 1-1 South Central Conference) with a game-high 14 points.
“Garrett McGuire and Josh White both handled the ball with poise throughout the game, giving us an opportunity to win,” Fulton said. “Casey Wilson and Austin Meredith both played very hard and had some key baskets to keep us ahead but both fouled out late. Trent Harvey, Miles Cunningham, and Grayson Smith gave us some great minutes and were each able to get some key rebounds in the game in order to help us stay ahead.”
Trevor Rios paced Thackerville (1-9, 0-2) with 13 points.
The Wildcats shot 1 of 7 from the free-throw line in the final period.
Springer High athletic director Traci Dragg said: “They so deserved it.”
“They have worked so hard in the three years I have been there and we have just hoped and prayed for this day,” she said. “I can only imagine how this will help their confidence.
“They just keep working and working, and it was so great to see them finally be rewarded.”
Springer 10 13 9 4 — 36
Thackerville 7 6 12 6 — 31
Springer: Tristan Amaya 14, Casey Wilson 9, Austin Meredith 7, Josh White 6.
Thackerville: Trevor Rios 13, Jakota Ballard 8, Easton Doe 4, Blake Brawley 3, Tyler Wade 2, Tyler Songer 1.
Springer: 4 (Amaya 2, Wilson, White)
Thackerville: 3 (Ballard, Brawley, Rios)