Basketball / B. League

Lakestars build large lead, hold off Evessa in fourth quarter

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Playing for pride against a Kansai rival, the Shiga Lakestars ushered in the weekend with a hard-earned victory over the Osaka Evessa on Saturday evening.

The Lakestars shot 54.4 percent from the floor and needed every bucket — all 37 of them — in an 88-81 win. After all, Shiga made 9 of 20 free throws. Venky Jois had a dreadful performance at the charity stripe, going 0-for-9.

D’or Fischer led the visitors with 27 points on 13-for-17 shooting, 11 rebounds and three blocks. He is second in the league in blocks (2.1 per game), trailing only Yokohama’s Hasheem Thabeet (2.3).

Shiga point guard Narito Namizato added 23 points and 10 assists and Tomonobu Hasegawa poured in 14 points for the Lakestars (22-34), who extended their winning streak to four. Jois ended up with eight points, five rebounds and three steals.

The Evessa faced a 48-23 deficit when the third quarter began. They chipped away at the lead, pulling to within 63-51 entering the final period.

Xavier Gibson had 24 points and 10 rebounds for Osaka (22-34) and Keith Benson scored 23 points with nine rebounds. Takuya Hashimoto added nine points and five assists. Hiroyuki Kinoshita scored six points and dished out seven assists and Rei Goda matched Kinoshita’s scoring total.

Albirex BB 75, NeoPhoenix 55

In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, the hosts raced out to a 26-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and steamrolled past San-en.

St. John’s University alum Lamont Hamilton had 16 points and swatted three shots, while Keita Imamura scored 15 for the Albirex (26-30). Davante Gardner, who’s averaging a league-best 28.5 points per game, contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds. Masashi Joho added eight points and three steals and Kei Igarashi chipped in with eight rebounds, nine assists and two steals to supplement his four points.

Niigata held the NeoPhoenix to 31.7 percent shooting from the field.

Wendell White was San-en’s high scorer with 15 points. It wasn’t easy. He made 6 of 18 shots.

Atsuya Ota and Hayato Kawashima added 10 and nine points, respectively, for the NeoPhoenix (23-33).

Storks 79, Susanoo Magic 68

In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Draelon Burns ignited Nishinomiya at both ends of the court, scoring 23 points and handing out four assists while also making five steals in a win over the hosts.

Burns, a DePaul University product, canned five 3-pointers.

Herbert Hill had 16 points and 10 rebounds for the Storks (10-46) and Noriaki Dohara finished with 11 points and eight assists.

Josh Scott paced Shimane (8-48) with 15 points and nine rebounds, Kimitake Sato scored 14 points and Al Thornton added 11.

The Susanoo Magic outscored the visitors 26-13 in the final quarter, falling short in their comeback attempt.

SeaHorses 75, Grouses 74

In Toyama, J.R. Sakuragi sank a pair of free throws, accounting for his 28th and 29 points, with 3 seconds remaining and teammate Keijuro Matsui then sealed the victory with a steal as Mikawa recorded a pulse-rising win over the hosts.

Matsui wrested the ball from the Grouses’ Yuki Ueta, ending Toyama’s comeback hopes.

Sakuragi, a former UCLA standout and Vancouver Grizzlies player, led all players in scoring, grabbed 11 rebounds and dished out seven assists. Matsui scored 10 points and Ryoma Hashimoto had nine points and seven assists. Isaac Butts contributed eight points, 11 rebounds and two blocks.

The SeaHorses (46-10) trailed 34-29 at halftime and 54-53 entering the final stanza.

Clint Chapman paced Toyama (22-34) with 26 points and eight boards. Naoki Uto had 22 points and nine assists. Ueta scored nine points and Dexter Pittman added eight.

Brave Thunders 77, Hannaryz 73

In Kawasaki, Brave Thunders star Nick Fazekas scored nine of his 21 points in the fourth quarter and the hosts held off Kyoto for the second time in as many days.

Josh Davis had a 20-point, nine-rebound performance for Kawasaki (39-18) and Takumi Hasegawa contributed 11 points and six assists with no turnovers. Naoto Tsuji added 10 points and Yuma Fujii had seven points and five assists.

Fazekas snared 11 rebounds to complete the double-double.

Tatsuya Ito led the Hannaryz (34-23) with 20 points and five assists. Joshua Smith added 19 points and 10 boards and Yuya Nagayoshi had 13 points and 11 rebounds. Kevin Hareyama added eight points and eight rebounds.

Jets 89, Levanga 86

In Chiba, Gavin Edwards dropped 28 points on Hokkaido, helping carry the Jets to a narrow victory in the series opener.

Edwards made 10 of 13 shots from the floor and converted 8 of 10 free throws in 30-plus productive minutes.

Chiba’s Michael Parker and Leo Lyons scored 16 points apiece and both corralled seven rebounds. Parker also had a game-best four steals. Yuki Togashi added 14 points and five assists, Aki Chambers provided eight points and Ryumo Ono contributed five points, eight boards and six assists for the Jets (43-13), winners of five straight.

Marc Trasolini led Levanga (25-31) with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Takehiko Orimo, who turns 48 on May 14, added 16 points, Dijon Thompson had 14 and Daniel Miller finished with 11.

The Jets dominated inside, outscoring the visitors 56-32 in the paint.

Golden Kings 77, Alvark 60

In Okinawa City, Ryukyu’s perimeter marksmen provided a big spark in a rout of Tokyo.

The Golden Kings flushed 10 of 22 3-point attempts, getting three from both Ryuichi Kishimoto and Naoki Tashiro. Shota Tsuyama, meanwhile, went 2-for-2 from long range. Ira Brown and Takatoshi Furukawa both made a 3-pointer as well.

Kishimoto finished with a game-high 20 points and Hassan Martin had 14 points and seven boards for Ryukyu (41-14), which took a 50-36 lead into the third quarter.

Brown scored 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting with four rebounds, four blocks and two steals.

For the Alvark (40-15), Alex Kirk had 14 points and 10 rebounds and Yudai Baba scored 13 points. Jawad Williams added seven points and Joji Takeuchi had six.

Tokyo missed 16 of 19 3-point attempts.

Brex 71, Sunrockers 55

In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, the hosts controlled the tempo and played stifling defense against Shibuya.

Hironori Watanabe sparked the defending champion Brex (32-24) with 11 points, draining 3 of 6 3s. Ryo Yamazaki and Seiji Ikaruga chipped in with 10 points apiece for Tochigi, which led 33-22 at halftime. Shuhei Kitagawa and Shusuke Ikuhara scored nine and eight points, respectively, while Jeff Gibbs hauled in a team-high eight rebounds. Gibbs and Ryan Rossiter each put six points on the board.

Shibuya was whistled for five fouls and the hosts were sent to the free-throw line for just one shot in the 40-minute contest.

Josh Harrellson had 23 points, eight rebounds and three blocks for the Sunrockers (25-31), who have dropped four straight. Leo Vendrame added nine points and Morihisa Yamauchi had eight with five assists. Center Robert Sacre was held to six points on 3-for-15 shooting.

Diamond Dolphins 87, B-Corsairs 81 (OT)

In Yokohama, five Nagoya players scored in double figures and the visitors triumphed in overtime to complete a two-game sweep of the B-Corsairs.

Taito Nakahigashi paced the Diamond Dolphins (30-27) with 19 points and Tenketsu Harimoto and Jerome Tillman had 14 apiece. Craig Brackins added 13 points and 14 rebounds and Justin Burrell had 10 points, seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Takaya Sasayama dished out seven assists.

The Diamond Dolphins outrebounded the hosts 49-37 en route to their fourth straight win.

William McDonald had 21 points and 15 rebounds for the B-Corsairs (17-40), who have lost three straight games. Ryo Tawatari and Ken Takeda each scored 12 points and Thabeet, the No. 2 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, finished with 11 points and seven boards plus a pair of blocks.

Second-division update

Here are the results of Saturday’s B2 games:

Northern Happinets 72, Wyverns 63

Fighting Eagles 97, Big Bulls 67

Five Arrows 72, Wat’s 69

Firebonds 86, 89ers 73

Robots 80, Crane Thunders 63*

Brave Warriors 78, Earthfriends 73

Bambitious 86, Volters 65

Orange Vikings 81, Rizing Zephyr 75

Dragonflies 92, Samuraiz 90

*Note: Ibaraki (35-21) extended its winning streak to 14 games by defeating Gunma in their series opener. The Robots outscored the Crane Thunders 50-20 in the first and fourth quarters.