RICHMOND – Chris Vlasak hadn't forgotten.
Rockford Christian had made an impression on Richmond-Burton's only starting senior with its fast start when the two boys basketball teams met in early December.
Vlasak made sure that didn't happen again on Friday. The Rockets outpaced the Royal Lions from the start and cruised to a 53-36 Big Northern Conference East Division win.
"Last time, they came at us in the first quarter and got a bit of a lead," said Vlasak, who scored 11 points including a pair of first-quarter 3-pointers. "So we wanted to come out quick, and we did that."
R-B won the teams' December meeting 49-45.
Vlasak received plenty of help from his teammates, including starting junior Michael Kaska, who scored a team-high 16 points on seven buckets, and junior reserve Nick Pittser, who scored 10 points off the bench on Friday. But Rockets coach Brandon Creason credited his veteran point guard.
"We give [Vlasak] a little more freedom as a third-year guy to create and do some things, and he did a nice job tonight because we didn't really take him out," Creason said. "We asked him to carry a heavy load and he did that."
Jake Dachman controlled the backcourt for Rockford Christian and scored a team-high 16 points for the Royal Lions.
"Dachman was really physical – he was a little faster than I expected, but I adjusted to it later in the game," Vlasak said. "It took a little while for [my teammates] to get used to the speed [of varsity], but now we're starting to get the hang of it."
R-B (4-13 overall, 3-1 BNC East Division) took an early 12-0 lead and forced eight first-quarter turnovers.
"We came out active and forced the issue," Creason said. "When we score out of transition we're so much better because we don't have a very big team, so we have to make turnovers into buckets."
Dachman hit a baseline 3-pointer at the end of the quarter to end the shutout, but the Rockets weren't done.
R-B posted runs of 9-2 and 7-2 in the second quarter, and after a pair of floaters in the lane from sophomore Sam Kaufman (8 points), the Rockets led by 21 points, 31-10, with only seconds remaining in the half.
The Royal Lions had drained only four buckets by halftime.
"Our defense translates into our offense," Kaska said. "We get tips; we get steals; we get transition buckets, and that's what we saw in the first half."
The Rockets have now won back-to-back games for the first time this season.
"It's a step forward," Creason said. "We're a young team, and we're an undersized team. We're thankful for every win, because you don't know when the next one's coming."