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The Suburbanite
  • Lake tops Barberton at Mercy Medical Center Classic

  • Lake head coach Tom McBride hopes his team is on the verge of starting something special. McBride’s Blue Streaks have the start they are looking for after sweating out a 54-51 high school boys basketball win over Barberton on Saturday night in the third game of the Mercy Medical Center Classic at Hoover High School.

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  • Lake head coach Tom McBride hopes his team is on the verge of starting something special.
    McBride’s Blue Streaks have the start they are looking for after sweating out a 54-51 high school boys basketball win over Barberton on Saturday night in the third game of the Mercy Medical Center Classic at Hoover High School.
    “I think we need to realize we’re in the middle of starting some quality Lake tradition,” McBride said. “And one way to start a quality tradition is to beat a program that has tradition.
    “Anyone in Northeast Ohio already knows the name Barberton, and we’re hoping by the time we’re done with our run people will know the name Lake a little more also.”
    The Blue Streaks (12-2) were happy about the win as players gave a joyful chant in the locker room. But they also may have breathed a sigh of relief after Barberton (8-4) missed a shot in the closing seconds that would have sent the game into overtime.
    Sophomore Chase Champaign played the passing lanes and came up with a steal with 19 seconds left to help protect Lake’s lead.
    After the Magics found some openings in Lake’s 1-3-1 zone in the first three quarters, Champaign’s steal provided an exclamation point for the Blue Streaks’ strong defensive effort over the last quarter and a half.
    “Just digging our heels in and playing I thought great man-to-man the last 12 minutes of the game was the difference,” McBride said.  
    Lake trailed 23-13 midway through the second quarter, but closed the first half on a 12-2 run. Chaese Vaudrin brought fans to their feet when his shot from just inside the halfcourt line tied the game at 25 as the first half ended.
    McBride said his team actually practices those shots at the end of practice in what he calls “the bomber drill.” He has his varsity and junior varsity players battle each other in trying to make halfcourt shots.
    Barberton head coach Ken Rector said his team took too many shots at the end of the first half and lost momentum.
    Lake junior Mitchell Spotleson helped Lake offensively in the second half and finished the Blue Streaks’ high-low offense. He finished with a game-high 23 points after only scoring seven in the first half.  
    “I struggled a little bit in the first half and couldn’t get a lot of open looks,” Spotleson said. “The second half we started to get some good sets and I was opening up and ready to finish once the opportunity came.”
    Joshua Williams led the Magics with 20 points.
    SALEM STALLS AQUINAS IN OVERTIME
    In the second game, Salem’s defense shut down Aquinas in overtime to pull out a 72-67 win.
    Page 2 of 2 - Knights’ Senior Anthony Snyder buried a 3-pointer with 30 seconds left in regulation to tie the game at 62. But Aquinas’ offense couldn’t get much going in OT.
    The Quakers had a big size advantage over the Knights in both height and girth anchored by 6-foot-6 forwards Max Wolfgang and Anthony Shivers. Aquinas found ways to compensate, hitting 11 3-pointers, and had little trouble remaining in it.
    But Knights head coach Matt Hackenberg said his team wanted more.
    “There were a lot of positives, and I think Salem is very talented,” he said, “but we’re not looking for moral victories. We don’t want to say we stayed with the first-place NBC team. We wanted to beat them.”  
    Ryan Bush led Salem with a game-high 29 points.
    HILAND, HOOVER WIN
    Hiland opened the day with a 45-43 win over Northwest, as Todd Rupp led the Hawks with 15 points. Andrew Colon scored 12 for Northwest and Tristan Mullane scored 11.
    In the evening’s final game, the host Vikings routed Hubbard 83-35. Harrison Blackledge scored 19 points to lead Hoover, while Dom Iero added 13.