Basketball / B. League

Tochigi trounces Toyama in series opener

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Tochigi Brex played opportunistic pressure defense against the Toyama Grouses on Friday night.

And the Brex capitalized on the Grouses’ miscues in a big way, scoring 23 points off turnovers in a 104-84 home victory.

Tochigi committed just seven turnovers, while Toyama had 15 at Brex Arena Utsunomiya.

The Brex (3-0) moved the ball well on offense, getting all five players involved in passing the ball. It led to six Tochigi players finishing with three or more assists.

Standout forward Ryan Rossiter made his mark with 20 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Frontcourt mate Jeff Gibbs also had a strong all-around game for the hosts, who led 51-36 at halftime. He provided 19 points, 11 rebounds, four assists and two steals. Seiji Ikaruga poured in 18 points.

Tochigi’s Yusuke Endo finished with 11 points and five assists and Hironori Watanabe contributed 10 points and four assists. Yuta Tabuse had eight points.

The Grouses struggled at the free-throw line (16 of 27).

For Toyama (2-1), Leo Lyons scored 27 points and pulled down 10 rebounds. He dished out five assists. Joshua Smith added 24 points on 10-for-13 shooting and 12 boards, while Naoki Uto chipped in with 10 points and eight assists.

Brave Thunders 76, Lakestars 64

In Kawasaki, the hosts erased a 15-point deficit after one quarter en route to a series-opening win over Shiga.

The Brave Thunders trailed 21-6 entering the second stanza. They dominated the rest of the half and led 31-29 at intermission.

Shane Edwards scored 21 points for Kawasaki (3-0) and Vernon Macklin had 14 points, eight rebounds, four assists and three steals. Shotaro Hayashi contributed 12 points and Yuma Fujii added 11. Nick Fazekas finished with nine points and 12 boards in his first regular-season game of the season.

For the Lakestars (1-2), swingman Koyo Takahashi was the high scorer with 19 points, Yusuke Karino contributed 13 and D’or Fischer and Gani Lawal both had 11. Fischer added 12 rebounds to complete the double-double and five assists.

Hannaryz 84, B-Corsairs 80

In Kyoto, Julian Mavunga notched a triple-double and the Hannaryz held off Yokohama’s spirited comeback attempt.

Mavunga, a Miami (Ohio) University alum, finished with 15 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists for Kyoto (2-1).

David Simon added 20 points and seven rebounds in a game in which the Hannaryz built a 31-10 lead by the end of the first quarter.

The B-Corsairs (0-3) used a 13-0 run to cut the lead to 43-36 on a Ryo Tawatari 3-pointer with 1:25 remaining in the second quarter.

Newcomer Amanze Egekeze, a Belmont University product, led Yokohama with 18 points. Takuya Kawamura had 15 points and five assists and Edward Morris, who grabbed 11 rebounds, and Charles Garcia, both scored 14 points. Tawatari finished with 12 points.

Kyoto’s productive game included Shun Watanuki’s 16 points (3-for-3 on 3-point attempts), Kevin Hareyama’s 15-point outing, Yusuke Okada’s 12 and Tatsuya Ito’s six assists.

Evessa 73, Rizing Zephyr 56

In Osaka, Faye Pape Mour’s 17-point, 11-rebound performance and Josh Harrellson’s 15 points and 11 boards helped steer the hosts past struggling Fukuoka.

Naoya Kumagae contributed 10 points and Hiroyuki Kinoshita had nine points and six assists for the Evessa (2-1).

Neither team helped their cause at the foul line. Osaka made 10 of 20 shots; Fukuoka converted 3 of 7.

Eric Jacobsen scored a team-high 25 points and corralled nine rebounds and Dexter Pittman had 10 points for the Rizing Zephyr (0-3). Yasuhiro Yamashita added eight points.

Golden Kings 88, Diamond Dolphins 87

In Okinawa City, Ryukyu’s Narito Namizato missed the first of two free throws with 7 seconds to play in the fourth quarter. But he made the second one to break an 87-87 tie.

Nagoya forward Justin Burrell missed his team’s final shot, an inside jumper, with 5 seconds left in the game.

Josh Scott led the Golden Kings (3-0) with 21 points and pulled down 11 rebounds. Namizato and Jeff Ayres had 16 points apiece, with Ayres collecting nine rebounds. Namizato handed out seven assists. Newcomer Ryoma Hashimoto, who was 3-for-3 from the floor, added 11 points and Yutaro Suda scored nine.

Burrell had 22 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Diamond Dolphins (2-1). Shuto Ando and Tenketsu Harimoto added 14 and 13 points, respectively, with Ando knocking down 4 of 7 3s.

Albirex BB 104, Northern Happinets 92

In Niigata, Davante Gardner and Lamont Hamilton scored a combined 58 points to lead the hosts to their second victory in as many days over Akita.

Gardner put 33 points on the board, making 11 of 15 shots from the floor. The Marquette University product also sank 11 of 14 free-throw attempts, snared seven rebounds and doled out seven assists.

Hamilton had 25 points, 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks.

Sharpshooter Yuichi Ikeda knocked down 5 of 6 3s in a 16-point effort for the Albirex (3-1), who led 52-36 at halftime. Floor leader Kei Igarashi added 11 points and six assists.

For Akita (0-4), which finished with six double-digit scorers, Daichi Taniguchi had a team-high 16 points and Kadeem Coleby scored 14.

B2 update

Friday’s result:

Bee Trains 83, Firebonds 81

Noteworthy: Le’Bryan Nash paced victorious Hachioji with 29 points and 17 rebounds along with four assists, three blocks and two steals.