The Tigers opened play in the Metro Tournament with a matchup against Chelsea.
Hartselle jumped out to a 25-14 first-quarter lead behind Ward’s 11 points. The Tigers extended the lead to 39-26 heading into halftime.
Chelsea cut the lead to 50-48 by outscoring Hartselle 22-11 in the third quarter. Chelsea outscored the Tigers 22-18 in the fourth to get the two-point victory.
Ward finished with a team-high 22 points to lead Hartselle. Kiah Key finished with 13 points, six rebounds and four steals, while Dunn had 13 points and five assists. Itsede added nine points and nine rebounds.