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Basketball: Tupper looks to make up for last year's disappointment

Tupper Tigers finished fifth in B.C. in 2014


Ranked No. 1 each week in February and undefeated since late January, the Tupper Tigers set another milestone Friday night by winning the senior boys AAA Lower Mainland title, beating Richmond’s McMath Wildcats  71-61 at the Richmond Olympic Oval.

The Tigers enter the B.C. Championship next weekend as the favourite but last year, also on the heels of winning both qualifying tournaments, they finished fifth in B.C. It’s not a result they want to repeat, said graduating forward Niko Mottus.

“Last year we won City’s and Lower Mainland’s but we kind of choked at Provincial’s,” said Mottus, who had a double-double in the win with 11 points and 16 rebounds — plus seven steals. “This year we came through, we won City’s we won Lower Mainland’s, we’re ranked No. 1 and we’re going to take Provincial’s.”

He said the Tigers’ strengths are selflessness and team chemistry.

“It’s teamwork. We don’t care who scores, we’re all about sharing the ball. We play a good team game,” said Mottus. “I feel on top of the world right now — I love playing with these guys. This a chance to leave our legacy at the school.”

Chris Schneller had a game-high 26 points and was named the AAA tournament’s most valuable player, adding to the MVP hardware from the city championship one week earlier.

John Tait put up 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Taylor Ross scored 12 points.