Tigers stays hot in 80-45 victory at Columbia

Coach Faron Key’s Tigers put together a complete performance in their 80-45 win over Columbia.

Their 80 points were the Tigers’ third most of the season. They scored 103 in a win over Columbia before Christmas and then 87 in a win over Haleyville to close out December.

Kiah Key and Luke Ward combined for 22 points in the first quarter to propel the Tigers to a 26-16 lead entering the second quarter. Hartselle trailed twice in the first eight minutes, as Columbia led 2-0 and 6-5, but the Tigers responded with a 15-2 run to take control of the game.

The Eagles scored the first two points of the second quarter to cut the lead to 26-18. The Tigers responded with an 8-2 run to extend their lead to 34-20.

After a 4-1 Columbia run to make the score 35-24, Hartselle closed out the quarter with a 10-2 run, as Ward and Ryan Dunn each scored five points.

The Tigers took a 45-26 lead into the halftime break.

Hartselle opened the third quarter with a 7-2 run to push the lead to 52-28. The Eagles responded with a 7-3 run, cutting the lead to 55-35. The Tigers answered with a 12-0 run to extend their lead to 67-35 – their largest of the game.

Columbia closed the quarter with a 5-0 run to make the score 67-40 heading into the fourth quarter.

The Tigers held Columbia scoreless for the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, outscoring the Eagles 11-0. Ward scored four points, while Kohl Key added five, including his second three-pointer of the game.

The Eagles finished with a 5-2 run to make the final score 80-45.

Ward finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead Hartselle (15-10). The double-double was his third of the season. He also had three steals and two assists.

Kiah Key added 15 points, all in the first half. Dunn had 12 points, while Dominic Simmons scored 10 points. Kohl Key finished with 10, Thomas Itsede added seven, Rylan Smothers had four, and Treyce Oden finished with seven.

The Tigers have gone 12-4 in their past 16 games since suffering back-to-back losses to Oxford and Austin in mid-December.