The Suburbanite
  • Dramatic game caps Lake’s record-breaking season

  • The Lake Blue Streaks became the kings of the dramatic 2012-13 boys basketball season, during which they set multiple school records on their way to a 21-4 campaign.

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  • The Lake Blue Streaks became the kings of the dramatic 2012-13 boys basketball season, during which they set multiple school records on their way to a 21-4 campaign.
    North Canton Hoover brought the curtain down on Lake’s season with a last-second, 51-49 win as senior forward Harrison Blackledge banked in the game-winning shot with less than five seconds remaining. Emotion poured out of every Lake player and coach as the game ended, making it clear just how much was invested in the contest and the season as a whole.
    “This group was very coachable and resilient, their growth from out first scrimmage through the end of the season was tremendous,” coach Tom McBride said. “They really had a never say die attitude, and when we did lose they immediately picked up the pieces.”
    Even with the heartbreaking ending, there are plenty of milestones that will keep the year alive and well in the program’s history books moving forward.
    The 21 wins shattered the previous single-season win record of 17 and matching the girls basketball win record, which had been set just one week earlier. Those wins translated into Lake’s first Federal League Championship, which was claimed in a 93-92, double-overtime win over Jackson.
    In the second overtime, Jackson rallied from a five-point deficit with David Smith’s 3-pointe and two free throws by Kyle Mottice to tied it at 89-all.
    Lake senior forward Chaese Vaudrin put the Blue Streaks up 91-89 with a driving layup and Caleb Peach scored the winning basket off a Vaudrin assist as Lake held on for the victory when the Polar Bears missed a free throw in the closing seconds.
    The win moved the Blue Streaks to 10-2 in league play and couldn't have been a more appropriate ending to the conference slate for a team that won four overtime games. Along with their extra-time theatrics, the Blue Streaks also defeated Perry at the buzzer, notched two wins against Canton McKinley and defeated Hoover in their third game of the season.
    McBride cited the squad's improved post play and senior leadership as the driving forces in its success.
    “Development in the post and the ability to find the open man on the offensive end were big,” McBride said. “Great leadership from our senior class, a positive locker room and unselfishness from the players led to the championship.”
    Vaudrin’s leadership, along with the team’s five other seniors, and the consistently effiecent post play of
    6-foot-4 junior forward Mitchell Spotleson, helped steady the Blue Streaks in big games, but it is the development of the team’s younger players that bodes well for the future.
    Spotleson led the team in both scoring and rebounding at 17.5 points per game and 7.5 rebounds per game, while Chaese Vaudrin turned in averages of 12 points per game and 4 assists per game. Junior guard Alex Belinsky, another member of the starting lineup, also averaged double figures at 11.7 points per game.
    Page 2 of 2 - Sophomore point guard Chase Champagne started at point guard and performed well during the team’s postseason run and Vaudrin's younger brother, freshman Chandler Vaudrin, also played big minutes in pressure spots during the tournament. Peach will also return next season and combined with Spotleson, will give Lake good size in its lineup.
    Several players will compete for local AAU teams in the coming months and the team will reconvene in June for the Mount Union Shootout, then host its own shootout event later in the month and play in a summer league. Next year’s squad will enter the next phase of its journey with the tall task of surpassing a record-setting season full of drama.

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