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Ryan Dunn drives around Grissom's RJ Johnson in the first half of Hartselle's 88-55 victory. Special to the Enquirer/Mariann Parker.

Four Tigers scored in double figures in 88-55 win over Grissom

The Tigers, coming off a 12-day break, welcomed legendary coach Jack Doss and his Grissom Tigers’ basketball squad to Hartselle on Tuesday night.

Grissom jumped out to a 7-2 lead thanks in part to RJ Johnson converting two free throws following a technical foul called on Hartselle coach Faron Key just 1:28 into the game.

Coach Key’s Tigers answered with a 13-2 to grab a 15-9 lead with just under four minutes to go in the first. Hartselle would outscore Grissom the rest of the way 8-7 to take a 23-16 lead after the first quarter.

Grissom cut the Hartselle lead to 27-23 early in the second, which was the closest they would get to the home-standing Tigers the rest of the way. Hartselle outscored Grissom 22-8 to take a 49-31 lead into the halftime break.

Kiah Key played his most complete quarter as a Tiger, scoring 10 points and finishing with three rebounds, three steals, and three assists to lead Hartselle.

“I thought all of our guys played well in the first half, especially Kiah,” said coach Key. “It was his most complete game as a Tiger as he led the team in assists and steals tonight.”

Brody Peebles opened the third quarter by scoring six straight points, all coming off steals, to push the Hartselle lead to 55-31. Following a Grissom 7-2 run to cut the lead to 19, the Tigers outscored Grissom 16-4 to take a 73-43 lead into the fourth quarter.

“Great win and great game for all of ours guys! We had a lot of guys play well and get going!” said Peebles. “I am thankful to be playing and praises to God to be able to play the game I love !!”

With Hartselle up by 30, a running clock was in effect for the final quarter. The Tigers kept up their pace in the fourth, outscoring Grissom 15-12 to take the 88-55 win.

Peebles finished with 26 points to lead all scorers. After scoring just 10 points in the first half, he added 16 in the second half, including 11 points off Grissom turnovers. Hartselle finished the game with 31 points off Grissom turnovers.

“Brody seemed to press a little in the first half, but it was good to see the other guys step up,” Key said.

Key added 20 points, seven assists, four rebounds, and four steals to give Hartselle two 20-point scorers for the second time this season.

“My teammates kept my confidence up,” said K. Key. “They kept finding me in transition, and it helped me get open shots.”

Luke Ward continued his hot start to the season with 17 points, five rebounds, and two steals.

“Our team was able to play a faster pace tonight,” said Ward. “We were able to get out in transition and find the open shooters. It was great to see four guys score in double figures.”

Ryan Dunn added 13 points, five assists, and four steals.

“I just tried to play with the pace we have been working on in practice, and finding the open shooter in transition,” said Dunn. “I feel I am at my best when I get the ball to others. Tonight was a great team win!”

Every Tiger that dressed tonight contributed to the 33-point victory. Trent Wright scored only two points, but he pulled down seven rebounds and added three steals and three assists. Elijah Kelick added four points, three rebounds, three steals, and three assists. Treyce Oden, seeing his first varsity action, had three points, three rebounds, and one steal. Thomas Itsede added two points, while Teven Shields had one point, two steals, and one assist.

Grissom was led by James Sheffield, who finished with 21 points. RJ Johnson, who had 16 points at halftime, finished with 19 points.