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Brody Peebles shoots a layup with a McGill-Toolen defender attempting to block his shot. Special to the Enquirer/James Meadows.

Peebles scores 45 to lead Hartselle to a 76-59 win over McGill-Toolen

The Hartselle Tigers boys basketball team opened their season Thursday night in Mobile with a matchup against McGill-Toolen, a perennial powerhouse in South Alabama.

The game was touted as a match-up of two of the top-ranked players in Alabama as Brody Peebles, the second-ranked player in the Class of ’21, was to face off with McGill-Toolen forward Barry Dunning, the 33rd overall recruit in the nation in the class of ’22. Unfortunately, Dunning missed tonight’s game due to being quarantined due to contact tracing.

Peebles, who signed with Liberty University yesterday, stole the show on the Yellow Jackets home court. He scored a game-high 45 points in leading the Tigers to a 76-59 win. He also added four rebounds, four steals, and an assist.

“We played a good first game against a good team tonight,” said Hartselle coach Faron Key. “They were physical and quick, which really challenged us.”

Peebles scored 16 in the first quarter to help lead Hartselle to a 20-14 lead. He continued to pour it on in the second with 13 as the Tigers raced to a 41-21 lead at halftime.

In the first half, scoring for Hartselle was Kiah Key with five points, Luke Ward with three, and Trent Wright and Coleman Mizell with two each.

“We got off to a slow start but were able to play really well for four or five minutes of the second quarter, which I thought blew the game open,” said Key.

The Tigers pushed their lead to 66-40 as they outscored the Yellow Jackets 25-19 in a high scoring third quarter. Peebles added 12 points in the 3rd to push his game total to 41. The Tigers combined to four three-pointers in the quarter and finished with nine in the game.

The Tigers finished off the game with 10 points in the fourth quarter for the 76-59 victory.

“It was a great team win!” said Peebles. “We played hard and with great chemistry. Unfortunately, we didn’t finish how we wanted, and that’s on us older guys. I am just glad to be back going and chasing our best ball.”

Luke Ward scored nine points and two rebounds while Key finished with eight points, five assists, four rebounds, and two assists. Ryan Dunn added five points, three steals, one rebound, and one assist. Elijah Kelick scored only four points but led the team with 11 rebounds. Trent Wright scored 2 points and had four rebounds, four steals, and three assists, while Coleman Mizell added two points, six rebounds, a steal, and an assist. Cade Miles added one point.

Daijon Matthews hit seven three-pointers to score a team-high 29 points for McGill-Toolen. Brandon Turner added 17 points.

“Good start to the season,” said Key. “I love this group!  I think we have a chance to be good if we continue to do the hard work it takes to be a good team.