Explosive Second Half Pushes Hartselle Over Cullman

Caleb Suggs

Hartselle Enquirer

The Hartselle Tigers have shown significant improvement to start this season in year three under head coach Faron Key. However, the Tigers still lacked that high profile win. However, a win over rival Cullman for the first time since 2011 would go a long way in helping that.

The first quarter featured a lot of back and forth action. Isaac Taylor had five points but Cullman still took the lead 10-9 at the end of the quarter.

The Bearcats opened the second quarter on a 6-0 runs thanks to a couple Tiger turnovers. Trace Hill and Keondre Swoopes cut the lead to 18-13 but back-to-back threes by the Bearcats extended the lead to 24-13. Eddy finished the quarter with a three to trim Cullman’s lead but the Bearcats still headed into the locker room with a 33-20 advantage.

The Tiger’s came out in the second half on a hot streak. A steal from Hill led to a Taylor three and vice versa as Hartselle started the quarter on a 10-0 run. Cullman only mustered four points in the third while Kyle Eddy hit a three pointer to cut the lead to 37-35 going into the final quarter. Hill had two big steals in the quarter.

The Tigers kept their foot on the gas in the fourth. Taylor tied the game 37-37 and then Eddy hit back-to-back threes to give Hartselle the lead back 43-37. Eric Stephenson added four free throws to put the game out of reach as Hartselle outscored Cullman 31-13 in the second half to win 51-46.

“We switched to man to man.” Hartselle coach Faron Key said as he referred to what the Tigers changed at halftime. “I thought playing man to man gave us more lift and helped us get them out of their game.”

A win like this will go a long way in helping the Tiger’s rising program. “I don’t know what it does for the program because we try to stay in the present.” Key said. “But it does mean a lot to our kids, fans and our school.”

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