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Tuckahoe Moms Among Biggest Tigers Fans

TUCKAHOE, N.Y. – As the team gets ready to fight for a new title of state champions, the moms of the Tuckahoe Tigers might just be the biggest fans on the bleachers.

"I am so focused on the game when I am there, no one can even have a conversation with me," said Peggy Belles, whose son, Justin Belles, scored 25 points in the Tigers’ last game.

Basketball mom, Minna Laputina, said she has video footage of every one of her son’s games from this season and the last two years.  She said that for guard Sky Williams, a senior who scored 27 points in the last game, it’s always been all about his love of the game.

"He has been playing since he was 3 and he went to basketball camp for the first time when he was 6," Laputina said.

Belles said her son was drafted as a varsity player for the Tigers as soon as he graduated middle school.

"You should have seen him, he was 14-years-old and going up against 18-year-old kids on the varsity team," Belles said of Justin, adding that she is “beyond excited” as the Tigers get ready to play in the state regional semifinals to be held Tuesday night at Westchester County Center.

"I have my game-day rituals, like making pancakes for breakfast and dressing the whole family in black and orange," Belles said.

If the Tigers win, the next stop will be upstate New York for the regionals, at which, they are predicted to be unbeatable.

Laputina said she is most proud of Sky for all the hard work and dedication he gave to his team throughout the season and throughout all of the years he has spent on the varsity Tigers team.

"He has worked so hard, the whole team has, and now this is everything he has been working for," she said.

Belles said she is most proud of Justin's sense of team spirit.

"He gets out there and does what he has to do," Belles said. "The best thing I can say about him is that he is a team player all the way."

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