Chaese Vaudrin had seen it before.
Just four minutes prior, Vaudrin watched Jackson senior center Jake Vassas convert an off-balance 3-pointer as time expired to send the game into overtime.
Now it was his turn.
With 5.1 seconds remaining in overtime and Vaudrin’s Blue Streaks trailing by three, Vaudrin dribbled up the court, pulled up, and took a similar off-balance 3-pointer.
It, too, went in to tie the game at 82.
The Blue Streaks went on to outscore the Polar Bears 11-10 in the second overtime, capturing the Federal League championship with the 93-92 win in front of a raucous sold-out home crowd.
“It would have been easy to give up after that shot to end regulation,” Vaudrin said. “But we bounced right back and continued to play as hard as we could.”
After trailing 9-2 to start the game, the Blue Streaks (16-3, 10-2) did not lead until early in the fourth quarter when Vaudrin converted a three-point play for a 66-65 lead.
Leading 73-69 with 11.6 seconds remaining in regulation, Jackson junior forward Evan Bailey was fouled on a 3-point attempt and sent to the free-throw line.
He converted all three, and was 16-16 from the line in the game. He finished with a career-high 43 points and eight rebounds before fouling out early in the second overtime.
Lake junior guard Alex Belinsky made two free throws with 7.4 seconds to go to give Lake a three-point lead.
Jackson (14-6, 9-3) called a timeout with 2.6 seconds remaining and drew up and inbound play to get the ball to Bailey for the game-tying 3-pointer.
But Bailey could not get open, and they were forced to give the ball to their center, Vassas.
“Vassas was the one guy we wanted to take that shot,” Lake coach Tom McBride said, “and he put it in.”
Jackson would use the momentum of Vassas’ shot to score the first six points of the first overtime for an 81-75 lead.
With junior forward Mitchell Spotleson, who scored 28 points, on the bench with five fouls, Vaudrin, who led Lake with 33 points and nine rebounds, knew it was his time to take over.
“I saw they had a bit of a mix up and they didn’t pick me up early,” Vaudrin said. “I got a little bit of space, and when I shot it I knew it was good.”
Vaudrin then paced the Blue Streaks in the second overtime and when Bailey fouled out with Lake ahead by three, the Polar Bears seemed in trouble.
But junior forward David Smith hit a 3-pointer before the two teams traded baskets to tie the game at 91.
With 27 seconds remaining in the second overtime, Lake junior forward Caleb Peach scored what proved to be the go-ahead basket after grabbing a rebound, giving Lake a 93-91 lead.
Jackson junior point guard Kyle Mottice drove the length of the court and attempted the game-tying layup with 3.6 seconds remaining, but freshman Chandler Vaudrin, younger brother of Chaese, drew a charge to give possession back to the Blue Streaks.
Lake had trouble finding an open man on the inbounds pass and a loose-ball foul but Jackson’s Nick Dillon at the line with 0.1 seconds to go.
He made the first and missed the second to set off Lake’s celebration.
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