The Takamatsu Five Arrows’ season has been an epic failure. A complete disaster.
Takamatsu, which has failed to make one trade or move to upgrade its roster this season, fell to 2-48 after its latest setback, a 95-69 defeat on Sunday to the host Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix.
The Five Arrows have lost 23 bj-league games in a row, and can avoid losing 50 games by beating the visiting Oita HeatDevils once in next weekend’s season-ending series.
The team’s two wins have been narrow escapes: an 80-75 victory over the Miyazaki Shining Suns on Christmas Eve and a 79-76 win over the Toyama Grouses on Jan. 28.
Shingo Okada led the Eastern Conference-leading Phoenix (35-15) with 19 points and Wayne Arnold poured in 18. Atsuya Ota added 14 points and 12 rebounds, while Gyno Pomare and Jeffrey Parmer each scored 10 points. Kenya Tomori contributed eight assists and five steals for the hosts.
Two-time defending champion Hamamatsu led 42-33 at halftime, and used a 16-5 spurt to take a 20-point lead in the third quarter. The Phoenix scored 53 second-half points to turn the game into another blowout loss for the Five Arrows.
Paul Butorac scored 20 points and grabbed 17 rebounds for the Five Arrows, who dressed seven players.
Hannaryz 79, Evessa 64
In Kishiwada, Osaka Prefecture, Babacar Camara’s 20-point, 12-rebound outing and balanced scoring carried Kyoto to a win and a series sweep over the Evessa.
Jermaine Boyette had 14 points for the Hannaryz (33-17) and Yusuke Inoue scored 10. Taizo Kawabe had nine points, and Lee Cummard and Lance Allred both had eight, with Cummard dishing out seven assists. Kyosuke Setoyama passed out eight assists for Kyoto.
Bobby St. Preux was Osaka’s high scorer with 16 points and Wayne Marshall scored 14. Mike Bell had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Six-time All-Star Cohey Aoki was 0-for-4 from the field and scoreless in 20 minutes for the hosts.
The Evessa fell to 33-17.
Rizing 79, Brave Warriors 77
In Chikuma, Nagano Prefecture, Carlos Dixon scored 35 points on 13-for-19 scoring and Kevin Palmer poured in 21 points as Fukuoka beat Shinshu for the second time in as many days.
Fukuoka improved to 32-18, including 17-9 on the road. Gary Hamilton chipped in with seven points, eight boards, three assists and two steals for the Rizing.
Derek Raivio had a team-high 19 points for the expansion Brave Warriors (18-32), Tyler Hughes had 18 points with 10 rebounds, Lee Roberts scored 14 points and hauled in 11 rebounds and Edward Morris added 13 points.
Grouses 90, Shining Suns 63
In Kurobe, Toyama Prefecture, Brian Harper and Devin Searcy scored 19 points apiece and the hosts trounced Miyazaki, bouncing back from a series-opening loss.
Harper was 9-for-14 from the field and raked in 12 rebounds. Searcy pulled down 16 rebounds and handed out five assists. Ira Brown also notched a double-double (16 points, 10 rebounds, with five assists and four steals) for Toyama (25-25, tied with the Sendai 89ers for the fifth-best record in the Eastern Conference). Ryuichi Horikawa had nine points, all on 3-pointers, and Masashi Joho added eight.
The Grouses grabbed 21 offensive rebounds and held a 61-31 advantage in rebounds over the Shining Suns (22-28).
Dexter Lyons was Miyazaki’s leading scorer (17 points) and rebounder (12). Tsubasa Yonezawa added 13 points and Taishiro Shimizu had 10.
Albirex BB 91, Lakestars 83
In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, Shuhei Komatsu scored a season-high 27 points and drained 7 of 10 3-pointers for the victorious hosts against Shiga before an announced crowd of 4,077.
Komatsu also made 3 of 4 2-point shots and added two steals and two assists for Niigata (27-23), which recorded a series split. He also had seven 3s (on 12 attempts) on Dec. 17 against the Saitama Broncos in a 22-point effort.
Kimitake Sato contributed 16 points, including 2-for-2 on 3s, Chris Holm had 11 points, nine boards and five assists and Nile Murry had a 10-point afternoon. The Albirex were 11-for-19 (57.9 percent) from 3-point range.
For the Lakestars (33-17), Josh Peppers had 20 points and Ray Nixon scored 16. Julius Ashby finished with 11 points and seven boards and Shinya Ogawa had seven points.
Big Bulls 94, Northern Happinets 84
In Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture, despite Ricky Woods’ 42-point outburst, Akita lost its final game of the regular season.
The Happinets (28-24) missed 26 of 30 3-point shots, including Kyle Swanston’s 1-for-11 effort.
Thomas Kennedy led Iwate (17-33) with 26 points and 11 rebounds and Gordon Klaiber scored 20 points. Yoshiaki Yamamoto (15 points, six assists) and Shawn Malloy (15 points, 12 rebounds, three blocks) also had big game for the victors.
Woods had 14 rebounds and seven assists and played all 40 minutes for Akita. Mychal Kearse had 14 points for the Happinets, Swanston scored 12 and Kazuhiro Shoji finished with nine points and six boards.
HeatDevils 103, Broncos 76
In Beppu, Oita Prefecture, the HeatDevils scored 36 fourth-quarter points to condemn Saitama to its 35th loss in 50 games.
T.J. Cummings (25 points, 10-for-14 shooting), Wendell White (20 points, 14 rebounds), Taj Finger (17 points) and Naoto Takushi (12 points, 12 assists) led the way for Oita (21-29) along with Matt Lottich, who had 11 points, six rebounds and five assists).
Daiki Terashita scored a team-high 20 points for the Broncos.
Golden Kings 79, Jets 75
In Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, led by boisterous fans and veteran poise, Ryukyu improved to 20-6 at home and completed a weekend sweep.
Dillion Sneed and Jeff Newton both scored 14 points for the title-chasing Golden Kings (37-13, league-best record) and Anthony McHenry and Naoto Kosuge each poured in 11. Newton grabbed 14 rebounds, McHenry had 10 and the team collected an impressive 65 boards, 24 on the offensive end.
Tsubasa Yonamine had a team-high seven assists for the Kings.
With Maurice Hargrow out of the Chiba lineup due to an injury, Jamel Staten (27 points) and Takaki Ishida (22 points, 5-for-11 on 3s) carried the scoring load for the Jets (18-32), a first-year franchise.