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RIVALRY WEEK: Tigers pick up wins over Decatur, Cullman

The Hartselle Tigers basketball team rolled through rivalry week with convincing wins over Decatur and Cullman this past week. They opened the week by defeating the Red Raiders 82-68 and closed it with an 80-61 win at Cullman. 

Hartselle 82, Decatur 68 

Five different players scored in the first quarter as the Tigers raced out to a 23-12 lead. Hartselle hit three three-points and was fouroffour at the free-throw line in gaining the lead. 

The Red Raiders were able to get back in the game with a 10-3 run to start the second quarter that cut the Hartselle lead to 26-22 with 4:17 left in the first half. The teams traded baskets the rest of the quarter, with the Tigers holding a 34-30 halftime lead. 

Decatur cut the Hartselle lead to 38-36 early in the third with consecutive three-pointers. The Tigers answered with a 17-4 run to grab their largest lead of the game at 55-40.  

The Red Raiders closed the quarter with an 8-3 run to cut the Tigers’ lead to 58-48 heading into the fourth quarter. 

The teams combined to hit nine three-pointers in the fourth quarter, and Hartselle outscored the Red Raiders 24-20 to secure the homecourt victory.  

Brody Peebles finished with a game-high 48 points to lead the Hartselle (14-5, 1-0). Luke Ward hit six three-pointers on his way to 22 points.  

Trent Wright had 10 rebounds and seven assists along with two points. Kiah Key added eight points, four rebounds and three blocks. 

Kobe Johnson had 26 points to lead Decatur (10-9, 0-1), while Shawn Hullett added 17. 

Hartselle 80, Cullman 61 

Ward and Peebles combined for 64 points to lead 6A No. 6 Hartselle to an 80-61 win at Cullman Friday night. 

Ward opened the first quarter by scoring the Tigers’ first five points for an early 5-2 lead.  

Cullman scored nine of the next 11 points to take an 11-7 lead late in the first quarter.  

The teams traded scoring possessions to close the quarter, with the Bearcats leading 15-11. 

Ward continued his hot shooting by knocking down three three-pointers to help Hartselle regain the lead at 22-17. The Bearcats took the lead back with a 14-4 run to make the score 31-26. During the last two minutes of the second quarter, the Tigers went on a 13-6 run to grab a 39-37 lead going into halftime. Five different players scored for Hartselle during the run.  

Ward finished the first half with 20 points, while Peebles had 10. 

Hartselle opened the third quarter on a 14-4 run to take control of the game with a 53-41 lead. Peebles scored 10 to lead the run.  

The Bearcats outscored the Tigers 11-8 over the final four minutes to cut the Hartselle lead to 61-52 heading into the fourth quarter. 

The Tigers’ defense dominated the second halfholding Cullman to 24 total points, including nine in the fourth quarter.  

Trent Wright led the Hartselle defensive effort with 12 steals, including eight in the second half. The Tigers finished the game with 24 steals. 

Hartselle outscored the Bearcats 19-9 in the final quarter behind 14 points from Peebles. 

“I love how we are coming together as a team,” said Hartselle Coach Faron Key. “We are getting everybody’s best shot.” 

Peebles finished with 39 points to lead Hartselle (15-2, 2-0). Ward had a career-high 25 points, while Kiah Key added nine points. 

“Ward kept us in the game early on when he knocked four early three-pointers,” said Key. “Brody took over the game in the second half once he got going.” 

Wright finished with four points, eight rebounds and eight assists to go along with his 12 steals. 

“Trent gave us a tremendous defensive game tonight,” Key said. 

Dylan Sessions had 12 points to lead Cullman (8-5, 0-2).