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Hartselle’s Brody Peebles drives past Pontotoc’s Joe Haze Austin in the Tigers 83-66 victory over the Warriors Saturday. Special to the Enquirer/James Meadows 

Tigers’ big second half leads to victory over Pontotoc 

Hartselle faced off against Pontotoc, Miss., in the inaugural Be Elite Hoops Showcase Saturday at Columbia High School. 

The Tigers broke open a close game at halftime, with 47 second-half points in their 83-66 win over the Warriors. 

The Tigers opened the game on a 7-0 run but saw Pontotoc battle back with a 9-3 run to make the score 10-9 with about three minutes left in the first quarter. Hartselle would outscore the Warriors 8-5 the rest of the way to have an 18-14 lead at the end of the first quarter. 

The second quarter started with the Tigers’ 9-5 run to extend their lead to 27-19 in the first three. The Warriors would close the quarter on a 14-9 run to cut the Hartselle lead to 36-33 at halftime. 

Hartselle took control of the game in the third, going on a 21-4 run to build a 57-37 lead five minutes into the quarter. Pontotoc tried to get back in the game, closing the quarter on an 11-4 run to cut the Hartselle lead to 61-48. 

The Tigers put the game away in the fourth, as they outscored the Warriors 22-18 to make the final score 83-66. 

“I was proud of the way we fought on the boards,” said Hartselle Coach Faron Key. “Early in the game, Pontotoc was outrebounding us by a wide margin, but we stayed with it and ended up winning the rebounding game.” 

Hartselle was led by Brody Peebles’ 35 points. He scored 18 points in the first half and 17 in the second half. 

“Today’s game finished a tough week for us,” said Peebles. “Even though we were tired, we continued to play hard and do what was asked of us by our coaches.” 

This was the Tigers’ fourth game in the past five days, including three in a row. 

Tad Sivley stuffed the stat line with 18 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists, two steals and one block for the Tigers. Luke Ward finished with 11 points, while Trent Wright added six points, 12 boards and four steals. 

“Our victory was a total team effort,” said Sivley. “I just wanted to provide my very best for my teammates and coaches.” 

“Tad and Brody showed tremendous leadership throughout the game,” added Key. “They both had big games for us.” 

Luke Ward finished with 11 points, while Trent Wright added six points, 12 boards and four steals for Hartselle. 

The Be Elite Hoops Showcase brought in teams from Alabama, Tennessee and Mississippi for the five games played Saturday. The final game of the day had 6A Mae Jemison defeating Harrison Central 74-47. 

“I wanted our team to come here not only for the competition but for the environment,” said Key. “This was a different atmosphere than what we are used to playing in. I wanted to see how my team would adapt to the surroundings.”