Jeff Brewer

LAKE TWP.: It’s not easy being the coach’s son.

With Chandler Vaudrin doing the heavy lifting, and Joe McBride, the coach’s son, making a bunch of hustle plays, Lake won its eighth consecutive game Friday night, dominating rival Jackson 55-39 in a Federal League showdown.

The victory moves the Blue Streaks (13-4, 9-2) into a tie for first place with Jackson (12-3, 9-2). Each team has one Federal game remaining. Lake has Green left, and Jackson has Perry.

“We got an almost 20-point victory against one of the top teams in Ohio, which is pretty tough to do,” said McBride, a junior guard and the son of Lake coach Tom McBride. “Anything I do wrong I get chants [from the opposing student section], but it only motivates me.”

Against coach Tim Debevec’s Polar Bears, the Lake father-son combination made few mistakes on a night they will long remember.

With his team trailing 20-19 at halftime, Vaudrin, a 6-foot-7 senior, took over the game in the second half, driving around, over, and through Jackson’s defense, scoring and passing to teammates.

The Blue Streaks took a 36-30 lead into the fourth quarter and then proceeded to outscore Jackson 19-9 over the final eight minutes.

The Polar Bears shot 2-of-15 from the floor in the fourth quarter. Vaudrin (16 points, eight assists) scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, including eight in the fourth quarter.

“It really came down to our defensive effort,” Tom McBride said. “We took them out of what they like to do. We got them playing offensive-set basketball.”

Earlier in the week, Lake held McKinley to a season-low 44 points and followed that effort by limiting Jackson to 39.

The Blue Streaks threw a net on Jackson’s talented post players. Logan Hill, a 6-5 junior, scored six points in the first quarter, and then did not score the rest of the way.

Kyle Young, a 6-7 junior, scored his first points at 5:12 of the third quarter and finished with 13.

“We thought if we could keep them to [a combined total of] 25 [points], we’d have a shot,” coach McBride said. “Anything over 30, we didn’t think we had a shot.”

Early in the third quarter, on nearly back-to-back plays, Hill and Jackson senior wing Jake Pallotta each picked up their third foul and went to the bench.

Lake pulled away from a 26-26 tie, using a 7-0 run to take the lead for good.

Vaudrin scored on a spinning layup, and then tipped in his own miss. Senior Drew Myers (16 points) capped it with a 3-pointer from the left wing at 2:21.

“We executed in the second half,” Vaudrin said. “We’re a tough team to beat when we play together.”

Young McBride (seven points) was key in that decisive stretch, making several heady plays and scrambling for a couple of loose-ball rebounds and taking a couple of charges for the game.

“I love having my dad as my coach,” Joe McBride said. “He’s a great coach and he puts us in a position to win every night. I think he’s one of the top coaches in Stark County and the state of Ohio.”

The Blue Steaks also received a strong game from senior Jack Lostoski (13 points, seven rebounds).