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Luke Ward drives around Cullman’s Kaleb Heatherly in Hartselle’s 76-71 victory. Photo by James Meadows.

Hartselle escapes Cullman with a 76-71 win

CULLMAN – With the area regular-season title wrapped up, Hartselle traveled to Cullman looking to complete the season sweep of the Bearcats. The Tigers left Cullman with a 76-71 win and an undefeated record in area play.

The Tigers took the floor with a new look on Tuesday night as they came out in their new “H-Town” grey uniforms.

It was a battle from the tip with Cullman jumping out to an early 21-16 lead in the first quarter.

The Tigers mounted a comeback in the second by outscoring the Bearcats 18-10 to take a 34-31 lead into halftime. Brody Peebles and Tad Sivley combined to score 28 first-half points for Hartselle.

Hartselle extended their lead to 56-48 in the third as they put up 22 points in the quarter. Leading the way for the Tigers was three freshmen, Kiah Key with six points, Ryan Dunn with three, and Coleman Mizell had two.

Cullman fought back in the fourth as they cut the Hartselle lead to just two points. Peebles scored 11 points in the quarter to keep the Tigers in the lead. With less than 10 seconds left and Hartselle up by only three, Cullman fouled Key and sent him to the line for two shots. He calmly knocked down both free throws to give the Tigers a five-point cushion and the win at 76-71.

Hartselle (23-4, 4-0) was led by Peebles, who finished with a game-high 34 points, six rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Sivley had 16 points, six rebounds, and six assists. Trent Wright added nine points and Key had eight points and six rebounds.

Cullman (13-13, 1-3) was led by Max Gambrill’s 26 points. Kaleb Heatherly added 15 points and Jayden Sullins had 11.

COACH KEY’S THOUGHTS

Cullman is a tough place to come into and win. Tonight’s win gives us the most wins in a season that we have had in my time here at Hartselle. This win means a lot to us.

UP NEXT

Hartselle will host West Point on Thursday night in their final home game of the regular season. The Tigers will celebrate senior night and the playing careers of Tad Sivley, Jackson Raley, Jackson Boyer, Trent Hill, Ian Bodine, and CJ Gholston.

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