Kimbrough-Roach, Vazquez duo leads Spartan boys past Indian River

Mike Starkey

FELTON — The unbeaten Lake Forest High boys’ basketball team rolled into the winter break with a convincing 74-34 home victory over Henlopen South foe Indian River High Friday afternoon before a packed home gymasium.

Sophomore forward Kaheim Kimbrough-Roach and junior guard Jaysem Vazquez combined to score 47 of the 74 points to move the Spartans to 5-0.

Kimbrough-Roach, averaging 22.6 points over the first five games, put up 26 points and reeled in 18 rebounds.

“We came out so good on defense,” said Kimbrough-Roach. “My dominant performance came from my team. I wouldn’t have gotten so many points if Jaysem wasn’t passing the ball when I was open.”

“When it hits his hands, everyone gets better,” Lake Forest coach Michael Starkey said. “It’s similar with Vazquez. We’re fortunate to have two of those guys who seem to elevate everyone else around them.”

Vazquez, who is averaging 18.2 points per game, added 21 points.

“Our teammates put us in good position to just make plays and they believe in us, so it’s pretty easy for us,” said Vazquez.

The chemistry between the Spartan duo has been strong this season, but it’s not a new feeling to them.

“Me and Jaysem, we grew up playing with each other,” Kimbrough-Roach said. “I’ve been playing with him since the seventh grade when we went to Chipman together, we play AAU together all the time, we’re always playing with each other, so our chemistry is better than any other duo in the state.”

The Spartans experienced a slow start offensively, leading the Indians (3-3) just 13-6 at the end of the opening quarter thanks to a pair of three-pointers by sophomore Nakiem Scott.

It was a Kimbrough-Roach two-handed slam dunk just 19 seconds into the second quarter that ignited the crowd and kick-started the Spartans’ 21-point second quarter.

Vazquez failed to score a point in the first quarter, but put up 10 second quarter points, including a buzzer-beating three-pointer to end the first half.

“Our offense, we can attack you in a couple different ways, to be honest,” Vazquez said. “It’s just who’s clicking that night. I wasn’t clicking early, but my teammates stuck with me. Coach tells me to get my teammates the ball early and my game will come. It’ll be there.”

“He’s our sparkplug,” said Starkey. “I remember watching him play down in eighth grade and I knew right away that that’s the guy I want leading this program. He just has that passion, that fire inside. He loves this game. That’s hard to teach.”

The Spartans, ahead by a commanding 34-16 advantage at the halftime break, carried that momentum over to the second half.

Lake opened the third quarter with a 15-6 run and led by as many as 32 points in the quarter.

Leading by more than 30 points heading into the fourth quarter, Lake went to its bench to finish the final five minutes of the game.

Scott finished the game with 11 points for the Spartans, which included a trio of three-point field goals.

Senior Javon Gibbs scored six points, while fellow seniors Chris Allen and Jene Sample had three each and juniors Zyaire Elliott and Nashiem Little scored two points each.

Senior Jamier Felton led the Indians in scoring, putting up 13 points in the losing effort.

Without any tournaments over the holiday break, Starkey hopes to keep his boys ready to go over the next few weeks before regular season play resumes in early January.

“The key thing is keeping these guys on a routine and keeping them in shape,” he said. “The goal is to avoid having more than two days off in a row, because once you get into the third day it effects your legs and stuff.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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