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Kyoto edges Fukushima to complete series sweep

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

After outlasting the Fukushima Firebonds in triple overtime on Saturday, the Kyoto Hannaryz played another tight, down-to-the-wire contest a day later.

The Sunday showdown, however, didn’t require extra time to determine the winner. Kyoto edged Fukushima by the slimmest of margins, winning 62-61 in their bj-league series finale.

Veteran forward David Palmer led the Hannaryz (15-3) with 28 points. He was 11-for-20 from 2-point range on the afternoon, but missed all six of his 3-point shots. He also grabbed 14 rebounds to complete the double-double in Shirakawa, Fukushima Prefecture.

Kyoto’s Kevin Kotzur added 13 points and 15 rebounds and Koki Yabuuchi had 10 points and four assists, while Sunao Murakami contributed eight points.

Fukushima’s Stephan Van Treese had a team-high 28 points and hauled in 15 rebounds.

Masaya Karimata added 11 points for the Firebonds (11-7), a second-year franchise. Rookie forward Le’Bryan Nash, the league’s leading scorer (26.4 points per game) was held to single digits for the first time this season. He had nine points on 4-for-16 shooting with nine rebounds, six assists and five turnovers.

Credit the Hannaryz defense for putting pressure on Nash throughout the game.

Samuraiz 89, Albirex BB 59

In Niigata, Kanazawa, an expansion team, rebounded from a two-point defeat on Saturday and pounded the hosts to snap a four-game losing streak.

The Samuraiz (10-10) out-rebounded Niigata 48-38, led by Gyno Pomare’s 18 boards.

Kanazawa finished with five double-digit scorers: Andrew Fitzgerald (21 points), Marshall Brown (18), Pomare (16) and Yuji Ide and Yusuke Takamatsu (10 apiece).

Ide dished out seven assists and Brown and Tsubasa Yonamine each had six. It was an impressive game for the Kanazawa offense, guided by first-year bench boss Yukinori Suzuki.

The Samuraiz recorded 30 assists on their 37 field goals.

Ryan Reid paced the Albirex (13-7) with 21 points and Chris Oliver and Kimitake Sato had 13 apiece.

Grouses 91, Rizing 69

In Takaoka, Toyama Prefecture, star guard Masashi Joho scored a game-high 23 points and the high-powered Grouses salvaged a series split.

Toyama (12-6) also forced 25 turnovers as the Rizing were unable to find their rhythm on offense.

Duke Crews added 16 points for the hosts and longtime Grouses standout Takeshi Mito chipped in with 14 points, six assists and five steals. Drew Viney and Takanori Goya both scored 11 points in the rout.

For the Rizing (7-13), Josh Peppers scored 17 points and Donnavan Kirk added 14 on 7-for-8 shooting. Taishiro Shimizu had nine points.

Evessa 80, Brave Warriors 70

In Chikuma, Nagano Prefecture, Lawrence Blackledge and Olu Ashaolu both had double-doubles and Osaka completed a series sweep.

Blackledge, who played college ball at Marquette University, had 25 points, 11 rebounds and three blocked shots. Ashaolu, a University of Oregon alum, provided 16 points and 10 boards for the Evessa (12-8). Teammate Shota Konno sank 3 of 4 3s in a 13-point effort.

Shinshu forward Mike Bell had a stellar outing against his former club, finishing with 24 points, 14 rebounds, five assists, two steals and two blocks. Xavier Gibson added 16 points, 14 boards and five blocks for the struggling Brave Warriors (6-12).

Crane Thunders 76, Bambitious 67

In Midori, Gunma Prefecture, Thomas Kennedy scored 23 points and Patrick Sullivan added 20 on 9-for-12 shooting as the Crane Thunders won for the second straight day and fifth time in six games.

Kosuke Taneichi added 10 points for Gunma (11-9).

Kennedy led the hosts with 12 rebounds.

Charles Hinkle had 11 points for Nara (4-16).

HeatDevils 98, B-Corsairs 93

In Zama, Kanagawa Prefecture, hot-shooting Oita Ehime earned a weekend split against Yokohama.

The HeatDevils (5-13) converted 13 of 29 shots from beyond the arc and made 25 of 42 from 2-point range.

Oita’s Patrick Simon had a game-best 30 points on 11-for-18 shooting and Tatsuhiko Toshino canned 5 of 6 3s in a 28-point performance. Chehales Tapscott finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds and five assists, and Takato Hara handed out six assists.

Carl Hall led the B-Corsairs (11-9) with 23 points and 15 rebounds. He also doled out five assists. Masayuki Kabaya chipped in with 16 points and four teammates also scored in double digits. Kenji Yamada dished out seven assists in the loss.

Susanoo Magic 101, Broncos 75

In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, the hosts shot 66.7 percent from inside the arc (31 of 47) and wrapped up a weekend sweep as a result.

Scootie Randall paced Shimane (14-6) with 23 points and Tatsuhiro Yokoo buried five 3s in a 19-point effort. Josh Davis added 17 points and 20 rebounds.

Seth Tarver scored 21 points for Saitama (1-17).

Wat’s 87, Five Arrows 85

In Kanonji, Kagawa Prefecture, balanced scoring carried Aomori to its third straight victory.

Veteran Nile Murry guided the Wat’s offense with 17 points and five assists and Jesse Perry contributed 16 points and 10 boards. Yuki Kitamuki had 14 points, Paul Williams poured in 12 and Makoto Sawaguchi 11 for Aomori (9-9).

For Takamatsu (5-13), Jarvis Williams scored a team-high 30 points and pulled down 15 rebounds. Hiroyuki Kikuchi and Anthony Kent had 15 and 14 points, respectively.

Northern Happinets 80, Golden Kings 77

In Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, Akita avenged Saturday’s 36-point loss by defeating the hosts in the series finale.

Ray Turner had 24 points and 12 boards for the Northern Happinets (12-6), Shigehiro Taguchi scored 18 points and Richard Roby chipped in with 17.

Evan Ravenel was Ryukyu’s top scorer with 20 points. Shuhei Kitagawa and Ryuichi Kishimoto scored 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Golden Kings (13-5). For Anthony McHenry, it was a quiet game scoring-wise (four points), but he filled the stat sheet with 10 rebounds, four steals, four blocks and three assists.