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Tigers get 20th win by defeating Florence 73-57

The Tigers took the floor to face Florence less than 24 hours after defeating No. 1 Huffman. They were looking to not have a letdown coming off the huge win Friday night – and they found what they were looking for. 

“What you do coming off a win like the Huffman game will tell a lot about a team,” said Hartselle coach Faron Key. “We took control of the game at the end of the first and through most of the second, and that showed we weren’t going to be complacent following last night’s win.” 

Hartselle took the win 73-57. 

Florence jumped out front with the game’s first four points, but Hartselle answered with a 9-2 run to grab a 9-6 lead. The teams swapped baskets the rest of the way, with the Tigers taking a 20-14 lead to the second quarter.  

If there was any remaining concern this game might be a letdown, the Tigers squashed it with their play in the second quarter. With the score 24-18, Hartselle went on a 21-6 run, with points coming from five different players. Florence scored five of the quarter’s final seven points to make the halftime score 47-29. 

Brody Peebles finished with 17 first-half points. Kiah Key had 12, and Luke Ward added eight. The Tigers hit five three-pointers and had assists on 16 of their 17 baskets. 

Hartselle opened the third quarter with a 13-4 run to extend the lead out to 60-33, the Tigers’ largest lead of the game. Peebles, Ward, Key and Trent Wright all contributed baskets in the run.  

The Falcons closed the third quarter with an 8-0 run to cut the lead to 60-41 going to the fourth. 

The Falcons scored the first five points of the fourth to extend their run to 13-0 and cut the Hartselle lead to 60-46 with seven minutes left. Following a Tigers’ timeout, Peebles and Ward combined to hit three three-pointers to power a 13-7 run to push the lead to 73-53.  

Peebles scored a game-high 29 points to lead Hartselle (20-2). Key finished with his first career double-double, 16 points and 10 rebounds. Ward added 12 points, while Wright had eight. 

Key’s double-double was the Tigers’ first of the season. 

Hartselle 72, Fairview 36 

Earlier in the week, Hartselle traveled to Fairview for a match-up against the 5A Aggies. Ten Tigers scored in the 72-36 victory. 

Key hit three three-pointers in the games first four minutes to help the Tigers jump out to a 13-4 lead. Peebles added nine points in the final three minutes of the first to help extend the Hartselle lead to 24-6. 

Peebles hit two three-pointers to open the second quarter, and the lead grew to 32-13. Ward hit two three-pointers and finished with eight points in the final three minutes of the second quarter to help the Tigers build their lead to 44-18 at halftime. 

Ward hit his fourth three-pointer in the middle of a 7-0 Hartselle run to open the third quarter as the lead grew to 51-18. Treyce Oden scored six straight points for Hartselle as the Tigers continued to pull away.  

The final five points of the third quarter came from freshmen Thomas Itsede, Rylan Smothers, and Kohl Key for a 60-27 lead going into the fourth. 

Dominic Simmons scored five points in the fourth to help the Tigers finish off the Aggies. Simmons missed the first half of the season following an elbow injury suffered in football. Hartselle outscored Fairview 12-9 in the final quarter to get the win. 

Peebles finished with 22 points to lead Hartselle (18-2). Ward added 14 points, while Kiah Key had nine. 

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