Blue Streaks shoot 63.4 percent in winning matchup of league champs
LOUISVILLE No emotional wave existed Tuesday night.
For the Lake Blue Streaks, it was all about machine-like efficiency.
Highlighted by a beautiful third quarter, Lake cruised to a 62-49 win at Louisville in a matchup of boys high school basketball league champions.
Only four nights earlier, Lake won a share of the Federal League with a thrilling 58-56 home victory against Jackson. Head coach Tom McBride wondered what kind of response he would get from his team as they went to Louisville, which had clinched the outright NBC championship on Friday in an equally stirring 55-52 win against West Branch.
McBride got all business from the Blue Streaks (18-3).
“I just liked the way I thought we went to work,” he said. “We grabbed our lunch pail today and for 32 minutes sat down and just decided we were going to work. We didn’t get highly emotional either up or down. I just thought we continued to grind and grind and grind.”
Lake never trailed after 4-2 in winning for the eighth time in the last nine games. The Blue Streaks, seeded No. 2 at the Canton Division I sectional-district, shot 63.4 percent from the floor as they snapped Louisville’s five-game winning streak.
Up 29-19 at halftime, the Blue Streaks pulled away with a 23-point third quarter that saw them shoot 9-of-11 from the floor and make all four of their 3-point attempts.
During one three-minute stretch, junior point guard Jake Maranville found senior Jeremy Brady twice for backdoor layups and senior Matt Spotleson dumped a pretty high-low feed to twin brother Mike for another bucket. Matt then drove and kicked to Mike for a 3-pointer that had Lake up 22 with less than a minute left.
“We were just making shots and making the extra pass,” Mike Spotleson said. “Getting the great shot, not the good shot.”
At the end of three quarters, Lake had one turnover.
Spotleson scored 13 of his game-high 17 points in the second half, while Brady continued his hot hand of late with nine of his 16 points in the third quarter. Senior Kam Casey matched his career high with 12 points, including a pair of 3-pointers in the third.
“We relied a lot during the early part of the season on a couple of guys. Now we’re all stepping up,” McBride said. “We’re shooting it well and we’re playing confidently on the offense end. I think that’s a great sign for an end-of-the-season team.”
Maranville attempted one shot after the first quarter and still left an imprint on the game as the maestro of Lake’s offense. He made a pair of first-quarter 3s, had four assists and did all the tough ball-handling while also defending Louisville leading scorer Brandon Wahl, who had four points (and only five shot attempts) through three quarters before finishing with 11 points.
“That’s what makes him special. That’s why I keep doing this,” McBride said of Maranville. “We saw him coming through the wake as a freshman. To think I get another postseason and another season with him, I’m excited as a head coach. He’s understanding the game better and better. He’s really settling in to what is needed for the team. That humbleness is just awesome.”
Junior Cam King made four 3-pointers and scored 14 points for Louisville (15-6), which committed 13 turnovers — too high of a number in a controlled-pace game such as Tuesday. Junior Spencer Hall added 11 points.
“It’s a good learning experience for us for the tournament,” said Louisville head coach Tom Siegfried, his team seeded third at the Canton Division II sectional-district. “I think this type of game is going to help us when we go into our district because there aren’t too many teams you’re going to see that execute as good as they do.”
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