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Akita dominance continues at home

Roby leads Happinets with 25 points as Tohoku squad completes series sweep

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Akita Northern Happinets’ high-octane offense clicked on Sunday.

Richard Roby poured in a game-high 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting, Yuki Togashi added 23 points and five assists and Chas McFarland supplied 13 points while going 5-for-5 from the field.

The result? Akita defeated the visiting Shiga Lakestars 96-89 to complete a series sweep.

Akita improved to 24-4, including 15-1 at home. The Happinets, who host the All-Star Game on Jan. 26, have won seven games in a row.

Ruben Boykin raked in 14 rebounds for the hosts. Yuto Otsuka scored nine points, Bokyin had eight and Shigehiro Taguchi netted seven.

Togashi, who played 40 minutes, drained 5 of 9 3-pointers.

Shiga (12-16) trailed 52-45 at halftime in Noshiro, Akita Prefecture.

Marshall Brown paced the Lakestars with 22 points and Shelton Colwell scored 20. Dionisio Gomez had 16 points and 13 boards, Shuto Mizoguchi had 12 points, all on 3-pointers, and Brandon Fields had an 11-point outing.

Phoenix 70, Wat’s 57

In Kosai, Shizuoka Prefecture, Hamamatsu Higashimikawa seized momentum in the third quarter, outscoring Aomori 24-9 en route to its third consecutive victory.

Jermaine Dixon had 20 points and seven assists for Hamamatsu (15-11), while Cyrus Tate and Atsuya Ota both scored nine points. Masahiro Oguchi added eight points and six steals.

For the Wat’s (10-14), Gordon Klaiber had a team-best 16 points with eight rebounds and Yuki Kitamuki scored 11 points. Abdullahi Kuso chipped in with 10 points and nine boards for the first-year franchise.

Aomori shot 18-for-54 from the field.

Brave Warriors 94, Grouses 89

In Nagano, Shota Konno scored 23 points, including 9-for-13 from inside the 3-point arc, and Patrick Sanders pumped in 20 points as Shinshu earned a hard-earned series split against Toyama.

Xavier Gibson had a profound impact on the game for the Warriors (16-8), finishing with 17 points, 15 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Jeff Parmer added 10 points and Dai Suzuki had a seven-point game.

Toyama (21-7) scored 34 fourth-quarter points, but its comeback fell short.

Masashi Joho led the Grouses with 23 points and seven assists. Sam Willard had 22 points on 9-for-12 shooting and 12 rebounds and Ira Brown scored 21 points with 11 boards.

Crane Thunders 71, Broncos 62

In Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, Sylvester Morgan had 19 points and 16 rebounds and Kenya Tomori and Trey Britton both scored 15 points as Gunma bounced back from a series-opening defeat.

The Crane Thunders (4-22) held a 50-49 edge in rebounds and collected eight steals, led by Morgan’s three.

Britton matched his season-high scoring output, his highest point total since the season opener on Oct. 5.

For Saitama (3-23), John Humphrey, the league’s leading scorer (23.0 points per game) didn’t play due to an undisclosed injury. Michael Joiner paced the Broncos with 21 points and 12 rebounds and Masahide Haraguchi added 11 points.

Saitama shot 24-for-71 from the field.

Hannaryz 65, Bambitious 51

In Heguri, Nara Prefecture, Kyoto held the hosts to a combined 11 points in the first and third quarters en route to victory.

Edwin Ubiles was Kyoto’s top scorer with 17 points and Chris Holm had 12 points and 19 rebounds along with three steals.

Takuya Komoda and Joe Werner each scored 10 points for the Hannaryz (18-10), who led 49-28 entering the fourth quarter.

Kyoto dominated on the boards, grabbing 55 rebounds and holding Nara to 31.

Anthony Brown and Tatsuya Suzuki scored 13 points apiece for the Bambitious (6-20) and Joe Chapman had 10. Nara struggled on offense, making 19 of 59 shots.

Big Bulls 89, Cing Reves 64

In Inagi, Tokyo Prefecture, five Iwate players reached double figures in points and the Big Bulls converted 61.8 percent of their shots from inside the 3-point arc in a runaway win.

Gyno Pomare had a team-best 26 points with 17 rebounds and Josh Peppers scored 16 points for the Big Bulls (16-7). Scootie Randall chipped in with 14 points, Kenichi Takahashi had 12 and Lawrence Blackledge added 10 points and three blocked shots. Masato Tsukino had a nine-point effort.

For Tokyo (6-17), Ricky Woods was the top scorer with 28 points and Yuji Ide had 12. Anthony Stover finished with nine points and 13 rebounds.

Iwate outrebounded Tokyo 55-37.

Seven Big Bulls players had two or more assists, with Tsubasa Yonamine’s five leading the way.

Evessa 87, 89ers 72
In Sendai, Naoto Takushi scored a season-high 28 points and Naoto Nakamura poured in 15 as Osaka clobbered the hosts.

Takushi drained 7 of 11 shots from inside the arc and knockd down 4 of 5 3s. Dillion Sneed contributed 12 points and 13 boards for the Evessa (10-15), while Kevin Galloway had 18 rebounds and eight assists along with six points.

For the 89ers (11-12), Wendell White finished with 20 points and Dzaflo Larkai had 19.