/

Hokkaido hammers struggling Nishinomiya

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Nishinomiya Storks were reminded on Tuesday night that it’s nearly impossible to win when an opponent routinely makes more than seven out of every 10 shots from inside the arc.

The Levanga Hokkaido completed a two-game sweep of the struggling Storks, winning 89-60 in Sapporo.

Hokkaido (21-19) made a jaw-dropping 31 of 44 shots from 2-point range.

Nishinomiya (7-33) lost its 10th straight game.

Led by Marc Trasolini’s 20-point effort on 9-for-10 shooting, the Levanga were in front 39-29 at halftime. An electrifying third quarter gave the hosts a 63-38 advantage entering the final period.

Daisuke Noguchi poured in 12 points for Hokkaido, while Yoshitake Matsushima handed out nine assists. Asahi Tajima provided 11 points and eight assists.

Levanga newcomer Dijon Thompson, a former UCLA Bruin, appeared in his second game for the club. The veteran forward, who was the No. 54 pick (New York Knicks) in the 2005 NBA Draft, finished with 10 points and six rebounds. Thompson played in 16 games for the Phoenix Suns and Atlanta Hawks in the 2005-06 and 2006-07 seasons.

Cameron Ridley paced Nishinomiya with 17 points and nine rebounds. Draelon Burns and Kento Matsuzaki had 12 and nine points, respectively.

The Storks, who shot 20-for-75, haven’t won since a 90-84 triumph over the SeaHorses Mikawa on Jan. 21.

Monday rewind

The Levanga routed the Storks 109-74, with six Hokkaido players scoring in double figures.

The hosts took a 63-35 lead into the second half.

The Levanga shot 61.4 percent from the floor, including 9 of 15 from 3-point range.

The hot-shooting hosts dished out 30 assists against eight turnovers in the series opener.