Basketball / B. League

Ryukyu’s Jeff Ayres provides big offensive spark against Nagoya

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Former NBA forward Jeff Ayres scored a game-high 26 points, including 5-for-9 from beyond the 3-point arc, as the Ryukyu Golden Kings beat the visiting Nagoya Diamond Dolphins 79-68 on Saturday afternoon.

Ayres, who played for the Portland Trail Blazers, Indiana Pacers, San Antonio Spurs and Los Angeles Clippers between 2009 and 2016, had four 3s in the first half as the Golden Kings built a 42-38 lead by halftime in Okinawa City.

Josh Scott finished with 19 points for Ryukyu (4-0) in the series finale and pulled down seven rebounds. Takatoshi Furukawa and Ryuichi Kishimoto each scored seven points, while Narito Namizato had six points and eight assists.

Craig Brackins scored 14 points for Nagoya (2-2) and Shuto Ando contributed 12. Justin Burrell added 10 points and 12 boards and Ryota Kobayashi had 11 points and nine assists.

Ryukyu never trailed.

Hannaryz 87, B-Corsairs 81

In Kyoto, newcomer David Simon’s 32-point, nine-rebound performance and Julian Mavunga’s 19 points and a league-record 16 assists sparked the hosts as they completed a series sweep of Yokohama.

Simon, an Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne alum, made 14 of 16 shots from the floor. Teammate Yusuke Okada contributed 11 points and five assists.

Kyoto (3-1) converted 21 of 30 2-point attempts.

Takuya Kawamura led the B-Corsairs (0-4) with 23 points and eight assists. He sank 6 of 9 3s. Amanze Egekeze had 17 points and 10 boards and Charles Garcia contributed 15 points.

Evessa 89, Rizing Zephyr 65

In Osaka, the hosts capitalized on fast-break scoring opportunities and chalked up their second win in as many days over Fukuoka.

The Evessa (3-1) finished with 19 fast-break points and held the visitors to eight.

Faye Pape Mour was Osaka’s high scorer with 18 points and Rei Goda had 17. Naoya Kumagae poured in 15 points and Josh Harrellson added 13 with 16 rebounds. Shunki Hatakeyama dished out 10 assists and Hiroyuki Kinoshita supplied seven.

British-born center Benjamin Lawson, who attended Western Kentucky University, led the Rizing Zephyr (0-4) with 19 points and Satoshi Ishitani had eight.

Lakestars 80, Brave Thunders 68

In Kawasaki, Georgia Tech alum Gani Lawal sparked Shiga with 30 points and 12 rebounds in a bounce-back victory over the hosts.

Yusuke Karino scored 11 points, Gaku Arao contributed eight and D’or Fischer hauled in 12 rebounds for the Lakestars (2-2), with Koyo Takahashi contributing seven points and seven assists. Taishi Ito matched Takahashi’s scoring output.

Shiga held the hosts to 10 first-quarter points.

Kawasaki (3-1) missed 16 of its 20 3-point attempts and shot 37.7 percent overall.

Nick Fazekas and Shane Edwards had 16 points apiece for the Brave Thunders. Vernon Macklin snared 13 boards and Naoto Tsuji doled out seven assists.

Alvark 77, SeaHorses 69

In Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, balanced scoring carried reigning champion Tokyo past Mikawa in the series opener.

Rising star Yudai Baba had 14 points and five assists off the bench and four teammates also reached double figures in points: Jawad Williams (13) and Joji Takeuchi, Daiki Tanaka and Alex Kirk (10 apiece).

The Alvark (3-0) trailed 34-29 entering the third quarter.

James Southerland paced the SeaHorses (0-3) with 22 points and J.R. Sakuragi scored 12. Isaac Butts chipped in with 11 points and nine rebounds and Keijuro Matsui had nine points.

Jets 70, NeoPhoenix 60

In Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, the Jets outscored the visitors 23-9 in the fourth quarter to secure their first win of the season.

Michael Parker energized Chiba (1-2) with 19 points, 10 rebounds and two steals and Ryumo Ono scored 14 points. Trey Jones had a 13-point effort and Yuki Togashi finished with 10 points.

Robert Dozier had 14 points and 13 rebounds for San-en (1-2). Hayato Kawashima and Shuto Tawatari added 13 and 11 points, respectively, and Atsuya Ota scored nine points. Newcomer Shaquille Morris chipped in with six points and three blocks.

Sunrockers 67, Levanga 66

In Tokyo, Sunrockers newcomer Ryan Kelly drained two free throws with 1 seconds left in the fourth quarter, and Hokkaido’s final shot missed its target.

Kelly finished the game with a 10-for-12 effort at the charity stripe. He scored 18 points and corralled seven rebounds. Frontcourt mate Robert Sacre had 19 points, eight boards and three steals.

Leo Vendrame contributed nine points for Shibuya (1-2), which led 19-9 after one quarter.

For the Levanga (1-2), Marc Trasolini scored 27 points, Asahi Tajima had 12 and David Doblas 10.

Ryota Sakurai took the last-second shot for the visitors.

Brex 85, Grouses 80

In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Ryan Rossiter’s dynamic effort (34 points, 10 rebounds) paved the way for the hosts’ second win in two days against Toyama.

Former Phoenix Sun Yuta Tabuse added 15 points and nine assists without a turnover and Yusuke Endo scored 10 points for the Brex (4-0), who outscored the out-of-towners 34-19 in the third quarter to take a 67-55 lead into the final stanza.

Toyama staged a spirited rally. The Grouses used a 12-0 spurt that bridged the third and fourth quarters to take a 75-73 lead on a Leo Lyons basket with 2:22 left in the game.

Lyons scored his final two points (he had 19) on a pair of free throws with 1:35 left. That put Toyama ahead 77-76.

Hironori Watanabe then sank a go-ahead 3 with 1:16 remaining. The Brex took a 79-77 lead on the play, which was set up by a pass from Tabuse.

Lyons went 0-for-8 from 3-point range. He hauled in 12 rebounds.

Joshua Smith added 19 points and 21 rebounds for the Grouses (2-2). Takeshi Mito scored 12 points and Yuto Otsuka had 11.

B2 update

Results of Saturday’s second-division games:

89ers 85, Crane Thunders 80

Firebonds 92, Bee Trains 77

Orange Vikings 77, Robots 75

Fighting Eagles 94, Earthfriends 83

Samuraiz 73, Susanoo Magic 71

Wat’s 90, Wyverns 80

Brave Warriors 70, Bambitious 50

Storks 83, Volters 70

Dragonflies 74, Five Arrows 61