Caravel ends Lake’s 16-game home win streak

Lake Forest’s Kaheim Kimbrough-Roach gets pressure from Caravel’s defense in the second quarter. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

FELTON — Caravel Academy set the tempo early and didn’t let up.

Behind a 24-point performance from junior guard Kevin Keister, the Buccaneers defeated Lake Forest High, 64-46, Saturday afternoon in a physical nonconference boys’ basketball showdown.

Lake’s second loss in a three-day span dropped the Spartans to 5-2 on the season. It also snaps Lake Forest’s 16-game home win streak.

The streak, which includes the DIAA state tournament, began on Feb. 17, 2017, with a 67-57 win over this same Caravel squad.

The 10-point win nearly two years ago marks the last time Lake Forest earned a win over the Bucs.

“I think a good nonconference loss against a good upstate team is not a bad thing; I like scheduling these types of teams,” said Lake coach Michael Starkey. “We just have to learn and come back Tuesday against Woodbridge and play another tough team,” Starkey said.

With 6-foot-4-inch senior forward Jordan Nasuti and 6-foot-9-inch junior center Jeb Williams under the basket for the Bucs, Lake Forest’s offensive unit struggled to put up points in the paint — something the Spartans have been effective with all season — forcing outside perimeter jump-shots.

“I’ve watched a lot of film on them and I know their big are pretty disciplined as far as going straight-up. They’re pretty vertical, but we weren’t necessarily trying to avoid them,” said Starkey.

“We just know they don’t foul a whole lot, so we were just trying to play inside-out. We thought that would be our best option, to try to shrink the zone and then come back out and find something.”

Lake Forest’s Jaysem Vazquez looks to pass under the boards against Caravel in the second quarter. (Delaware State News/Marc Clery)

Sophomore forward Kaheim Kimbrough-Roach led the Spartans in scoring for the fifth time this season, recording 18 points in the double-digit loss.

Sophomore Nakiem Scott had his strongest performance of the season, knocking down four threes and scoring 14 points for Lake.

The Spartans dug themselves in a hole relatively quickly, falling behind 15-2 through the first 4:20 of the game.

Early turnovers led to fast break lay-ups and open three-point shots for the Bucs, with Keister dropping two of his three long-range jumpers in the first quarter.

“We knew who their shooters are — Keister and Nasuti — and we just didn’t execute,” said Starkey. “I think they hit a combined four or five threes in that first half, and we talked about the importance of tagging those guys. They aren’t the guys who you can let get those shots.”

Lake went on an 11-2 run to end the quarter trailing by just four points, 17-13, heading into the second quarter.

Caravel opened the second quarter with a 13-4 run to jump ahead by 13 points, but a Scott three-ball, a pair of Jaysem Vazquez free throws and a fast break lay-up from Kimbrough-Roach in a span of 1:40 brought the Spartans back to within striking range.

Holding a 32-24 halftime lead, the Bucs came out for the third quarter with just as much energy, keeping Lake to just eight points in eight minutes.

A 13-point deficit at the end of the third quarter turned into an 18-point deficit by game’s end, with Caravel out-scoring the Spartans 32-14 in the final two quarters combined.

Junior Zyaire Elliott was Lake Forest’s third-leading scorer, recording all six of his points in the first half. Twelve of Roach’s 18 points were scored in the fourth quarter.

“Experience is one of those things that you can’t replace, you can’t give to them,” Starkey said. “You can talk about it, but it’s not the same. They just have to live through it enough to where they just start picking it up.”

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