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Hartselle’s Kiah Key drives the baseline as West Point’s Will Cochran defends. Photo by James Meadows.

Tigers jump out to early lead in victory over West Point

Hartselle coach Faron Key returned to his alma mater, West Point, on Thursday night as his 6A #4 ranked Tigers faced off with the Warriors and coach Randy Jones, who is Key’s brother-in-law.

West Point held a “Box Out Colon Cancer” night to honor their head coach who was diagnosed with stage three colon cancer earlier this year. He had surgery one month after his initial diagnosis and began chemotherapy in October. He just finished his sixth treatment out of 12 total treatments earlier this week.

The fans of the home team were dressed in blue in honor of Jones. They were wearing shirts that read “Box Out Colon Cancer” on the front and “Jones Strong” on the back.

Key’s Tiger team joined with the West Point community in honoring his brother-in-law as they wore the “Box Out Colon Cancer” shirts during their pregame.

“I have great respect for Randy and the resiliency he is showing through the chemo while balancing practice, teaching, and coaching along with being a husband and father of three,” said Key. “I pray every day for a full recovery for my brother-in-law!”

Once the game started, it was all business for the Tigers. They jumped out to a 22-6 lead after the first quarter. Hartselle extended their halftime lead to 39-16 as every player on the roster saw playing time.

The Tigers started the third quarter on a 16-3 run that gave them their largest lead of the game at 55-19. West Point closed the quarter on a 19-3 run to cut the Hartselle lead to 58-38 heading to the fourth quarter. The Tigers outscored the Warriors 19-17 in the final quarter to take the 77-55 victory.

“We were able to get playing time for all of our guys tonight,” said Key. “This will help us later in the season.”

Hartselle (12-3) was led by Brody Peebles, who scored a game-high 24 points, while Kiah Key and Luke Ward had 12 points each. Tad Sivley finished with nine points, 10 rebounds, seven steals, and five assists for the Tigers.

West Point (6-10) was led by Tyler White, who scored 17 points and Kobe Bowers, who added 16 points.