Ryukyu’s Ravenel comes up big in victory over Kanazawa


Staff Writer

Starting big man Evan Ravenel dominated at both ends of the court on Sunday, guiding the Ryukyu Golden Kings to an 87-83 win over the Kanazawa Samuraiz.

The Golden Kings (19-7 overall, 8-4 at home) earned a series split in Okinawa City.

Ravenel had a game-high 27 points on 11-for-16 shooting, including his second 3-point make of the season. The Ohio State alum also grabbed 17 rebounds (13 defensive), taking away second chance after second chance from the Samuraiz.

Anthony McHenry, a Georgia Tech product, contributed 15 points, 11 rebounds and four assists for the Golden Kings, who led 26-15 after the first quarter and 45-34 at halftime.

Guard Ryuichi Kishimoto, who was held to six points and 0-for-7 from the field with one assist in Saturday’s 86-84 loss, played a pivotal role in Ryukyu’s strong performance in the rematch. He had 14 points, nine assists and three steals on Sunday. Shuhei Kitagawa put 12 points on the board.

For Kanazawa (13-15), Marshall Brown had 22 points and seven rebounds and Gyno Pomare stuffed the stat sheet with 21 points, 11 boards and six assists. Tsubasa Yonamine added 14 points and Andrew Fitzgerald had 11.

Brave Warriors 92, Wat’s 70

In Nagano, Shinshu bounced back from a four-point loss in the series opener by routing Aomori.

Xavier Gibson scored a game-high 25 points and added 12 rebounds and three blocks for the Brave Warriors (9-17). Yasuhiko Wada sank 5 of 6 3-pointers in a season-best 19-point effort. Mike Bell added 19 points, 19 rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.

Shinshu out-rebounded the Wat’s 54-46, and coach Koju Munakata’s club shot 50 percent (10-for-20) from 3-point range and knocked down 20 of 23 free throws.

Warriors guard Yosuke Saito dished out six assists.

Jesse Perry led Aomori (11-15) with 18 points and hauled in nine rebounds. Yuki Kitamuki scored 15 points and Makoto Sawaguchi had nine. Nile Murry and Alif Bland finished with eight points apiece.

The Wat’s collected 14 steals, but poor 3-point shooting (6-for-31) diminished the impact of those takeaways. (Conversely, the Warriors had five steals.)

Evessa 86, Albirex BB 67

In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, Osaka finished strong, outscoring the hosts 20-8 in the fourth quarter to earn a series sweep.

The Evessa (17-9) have now won seven of their last eight games.

Five Osaka players reached double figures in scoring in the series finale: Lawrence Blackledge (28 points on 11-for-15 shooting with five steals and three blocks), Michael Singletary (16 points, including 4-for-8 from beyond the arc), Olu Ashaolu (14 points, 10 boards), Shun Watanuki (13 points) and Narito Namizato (10 points, five assists).

Takuya Soma, who had a season-high 29 points, including 9-for-16 on 3s on Saturday, only attempted four shots a day later and missed them all, and finished with zero points. He did, however, share the team lead in assists (five) with Namizato.

Niigata (16-10) trailed 49-37 at halftime.

Kimitake Sato paced the Albirex with 17 points, Ryan Reid added 16 points, eight boards and eight assists and Faye Pape Mour chipped in with 15 points, 16 rebounds and six assists. Ryota Kato scored nine points.