In a rematch of the last two Trail Men’s Basketball League finals, Rossland finally found their winning touch, as they dropped Mota Automotive 76-62 in an exciting and physical match up at the Rossland Secondary School on Monday.
Mota was looking to three-peat as TMBL champions, but a styngy defence, clutch free-throw shooting, some magic from beyond the arc, and gritty play down under sealed the victory and championship for Rossland.
“We always have good games with these guys,” said Rossland forward Blaine Benner. “It gets physical and intense, but afterwards we all meet up and sit down and have a cold beer. We’re all friends, it’s just a really good rivalry.”
The game was tight from the opening tip off, until Rossland broke open a 17-15 game to go on a 12-0 run midway through the first half. Mota would chip away at the lead, drawing within five points late in the game, making it 67-62 with just under two minutes to play. However, Wannes Luppens would nail a short jumper, and follow that up with a denial of Stephen Mota’s drive to the hoop, then sink a couple clutch free throws to nail it down for Rossland.
Todd Martin had the hot hand on the night, hitting two crucial three-pointers in the second half, and pouring in 16 points to lead all Rossland shooters, while Luppens counted 15 points.
As time wound down, Mota was forced to foul and hope for a miss, but Rossland would hit nine of 14 from the foul-line to ice it.
Mota counted 11 points for the Trail team including two from beyond the arc, while Dylan Fitzpatrick scored 10.
Kevin Jangula threw down 12 points for Rossland while Benner netted 11 and TMBL Most Valuable Player of the season, Gent Harrison scored eight.
Photos: Rossland defeated Mota Automotive 72-62 in Trail Men’s Basketball League final Monday at the Rossland Secondary School. Left: Todd Martin, 22, led the Golden City hoopsters with 16 points while League MVP Gent Harrison, 21, was a force at both ends of the court. The championship team includes from left: Blaine Benner, Jason Zwall, Harrison, Wannes Luppens, Chris Bowman, Kevin Jangula, Martin, and Chris Markling.