Sophomore Kimbrough-Roach scores 30 to lead Lake Forest boys past Delmar

Lake Forest’s Kaheim Kimbrough-Roach, who led all scorers with 30 points, shoots over Delmar defenders in the first quarter at Lake. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

FELTON — Kaheim Kimbrough-Roach was firing on all cylinders Thursday night.

The Lake Forest High sophomore forward dropped a career-high 30 points and was a force under the basket both offensively and defensively as the Spartans rolled to a 75-52 win over Delmar High.

“I thought he was outstanding,” said Lake coach Michael Starkey. “I forget he’s only 15, because he plays years above where he’s at. He’s so talented. The pace of that game was incredible by Delmar, so he showed he’s varsity material.”

The Spartans’ Jene Sample goes to the hoop against Delmar’s T.J. Gibson in the first quarter.

Kimbrough-Roach spent much of the night battling for rebounds in the paint, blocking shots and scoring baskets in what turned out to be his strongest varsity performance as a Spartan so far.

“All those blocks and rebounds I got just gave my team energy and we just beat them on the transition game,” said Kimbrough-Roach.

Junior Jaysem Vazquez, who missed some time in the first half due to a minor injury before returning to the court in the third quarter, added 13 points for Lake.

Senior Jene Sample added 11 points of his own off the bench.

“Vazquez came in and ran the game well for us, and then Jene came out and stepped up and got a couple extra points for us,” Kimbrough-Roach said.

Lake Forest’s Kaheim Kimbrough-Roach shoots over Delmar defenders.

The 23-point win extends Lake’s home win streak to 14 games, dating back to Feb. 10, 2017. The streak includes last year’s first-round playoff win over Christiana High.

“Last year, the boys were 11-0 on our home court and they take a lot of pride in it,” Starkey said.

“We just feed off the energy that our fans give us on our home court,” said Kimbrough-Roach.

The Spartans (2-0) scored a pair of baskets within the first two minutes of the game, but the Wildcats scored five consecutive points in just over a minute’s span to take its only lead of the game, 5-4.

Delmar’s offensive pace gave Lake’s defense some issues early on, forcing Starkey to burn a timeout with a slim 12-9 lead and 2:30 remaining in the opening quarter.

“I don’t like getting out-worked anywhere, especially not on our home floor,” he said. “I just felt like we were getting out-worked. That’s an effort thing that we can control, and I just don’t think our boys were quite ready for Delmar’s athleticism.”

Lake Forest’s Jaysem Vazquez shoots over Delmar’s Jerome Mitchell in the first quarter at Lake.

Following the timeout, Lake out-scored the Wildcats 7-5 over the next two and a half minutes to put up a 19-14 lead at quarter’s end.

“When we went in for the timeout, coach was talking to us about defense, so I told my team to pick it up on defense,” Kimbrough-Roach explained. “We had to box out and get more rebounds and crash the boards more. We just had to go out and play better defense and we came back out and did it.”

Behind a nine-point second quarter performance from senior Christopher Allen, Lake out-scored Delmar 21-11 in the second quarter to jump ahead 40-25 at the halftime break. Allen finished the game with 10 points.

“I tried to wake them up a little bit and I thought they did respond well,” said Starkey. “I’m not happy when I have to burn an early timeout, but we’re young so I think sometimes it’s going to creep up on us.”

Lake led by as many as 27 points in the second half, out-scoring the Wildcats 35-27 in the second half to hand Delmar its first loss of the season.

Junior Isaiah Kane led Delmar in scoring, putting up 15 points to go along with 14 points from senior Jerome Mitchell.

Six points each from sophomore Nakiem Scott and junior Nathan McGray rounded out the scoring for the Spartans.

“We’re young, we’re talented and as long as we stay unselfish – because I think it’s going to be different people’s night on any given night – we’ll be good,” Starkey said. “Tonight, it was Kaheim. That seemed to be the answer with their trapping defense and we just were able to keep finding him in the paint.”

Reach staff writer Ben Heck at bheck@newszap.com

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