Tigers win double overtime thriller to advance to Elite 8
HANCEVILLE – 17 years was a long time to wait for Hartselle basketball to make it back to the Northwest Regional Tournament.
They made sure that their stay would not be a short one. The Tigers battled from behind to defeat Minor 71-67 in double overtime.
“We stayed in the fight a little longer than they did and outlasted them,” said Hartselle coach Faron Key. “Our play wasn’t perfect today. They beat us on the glass and forced us into some mistakes. It was good to see my team make plays with our defense and take care of the ball to get the win!”
The Tigers were led by the duo of Brody Peebles and Tad Sivley, who combined to score 60 of the Tigers’ 71 points. Peebles finished with a game-high 36 points, and Sivley added 24 points.
Peebles scored 16 in the first quarter as he led Hartselle to a 21-14 lead at the end of one. He added four in the second as the Tiger lead was cut to 34-30. Sivley added 12 points in the first half.
Minor continued their surge into the third quarter as they took a 48-47 lead to the fourth quarter. Peebles and Sivley had 11 of the Tigers’ 13 points in the quarter.
Hartselle got the lead back with under thirty seconds to go at 58-55. Minor’s Jalyin Dorsey-Johnson hit a long-distance three-pointer to tie the game at 58 with 14 seconds to go. The shot sent the game to overtime.
With the Tigers trailing by two with under a minute to go, freshman Kiah Key pulled down the most important rebound of the game. He was fouled and sent to the foul line for two free throws. He knocked them both down to tie the game at 65.
The second overtime belonged to Sivley and the Tigers. Hartselle outscored Minor 6-2 with Sivley scoring four points.
One of the most important points in the game came from Luke Ward. He had to come into the game for an injured Sivley, who was shooting two free throws. Sivley, who missed the first free throw, had to come out due to blood on his arm. Ward stepped in and knocked down the free throw to put the Tigers up 68-65.
After Minor cut the lead to 68-67, Sivley was fouled and sent back to the line. He knocked down two free throws to extend the Hartselle lead back to three at 70-67.
Peebles closed out the game by hitting a free throw to give the Tigers their four-point victory.
“Our offense executed under pressure,” said Key. “Our execution is a sign of great maturity on our part.”
“That was one of the best basketball games I’ve ever been a part of as a coach or player,” Minor coach Torrance Beard said.
The difference in the game for Hartselle came from free throws and turnovers. They outscored Minor 21-7 from the free-throw line and 24-2 on points off of turnovers.
“We fought to the very end. We had times to give up or give in and we simply outlasted them,” said Peebles. “The community and students were incredible. Without a doubt, this was some of the most fun that I’ve ever had!”