Basketball / B. League

Hannaryz hold off Rizing Zephyr in OT

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The visiting Kyoto Hannaryz outlasted the Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka in overtime on Friday night, winning 98-95.

Kevin Hareyama sank a pair of free throws at the 4:26 mark of OT to put Kyoto ahead 85-83, and coach Honoo Hamaguchi’s club didn’t relinquish the lead the rest of the way.

Kyoto forced overtime in the closing seconds of the fourth quarter. After Julian Mavunga missed a potential go-ahead basket on an inside jumper, big man David Simon corralled the offensive rebound and scored on a putback with 1 second remaining. That made it 83-83, and the game went into OT.

Mavunga led the Hannaryz with 31 points, 15 rebounds and eight assists, while Simon finished with 22 points and 13 boards. Hareyama added 16 points, Yusuke Okada provided 14 and Tatsuya Ito scored 10.

Kyoto improved to 7-4. Fukuoka fell to 0-11.

For the Rizing Zephyr, Shota Tsuyama had 20 points and Benjamin Lawson scored 19 points and pulled down 11 boards, while Dexter Pittman added 17 and 10. Masashi Joho finished with 16 points and Yasuhiro Yamashita doled out 11 assists.

Golden Kings 67, Alvark 53

In Tachikawa, Ryukyu limited the hosts to 31.7 percent shooting from the floor in a series-opening victory.

Josh Scott notched a double-double (14 points, 10 rebounds) and Jeff Ayres scored 13 points for the Golden Kings (9-2). Ira Brown added 10 points and Ryuichi Kishimoto poured in eight points and dished out seven assists.

In the first quarter, Ryukyu used a 12-0 spurt to take a 26-8 lead on a Kishimoto 3-pointer at the 1:18 mark.

The Alvark, who never led, trailed 41-27 at halftime.

Yudai Baba had 15 points to pace Tokyo (8-3). Alex Kirk scored nine points and Daiki Tanaka and Seiya Ando both had eight.

The Alvark made 19 of 60 shots.

Ryukyu won the battle on the boards (44-31). The Kings drained 8 of 16 3s in the win, including Takatoshi Furukawa’s 2-for-2.

SeaHorses talk

The SeaHorses Mikawa take a five-game winning streak into this weekend’s series against the visiting Toyama Grouses.

The team, now owning a 5-5 record, is adjusting to the addition of several new players this season.

Longtime SeaHorses leader J.R. Sakuragi discussed the team’s turnaround in an interview this week with The Japan Times.

“The slow start was expected with all the changes we made,” Sakuragi commented. “It was just about the chemistry. Finding an identity. Figuring out the style of play that would fit.”

What else has contributed to the turnaround?

“We ended up coming back through me inside to start and finish games. Went big with (newcomer James) Southerland at the 3 position,” Sakuragi said. “Also getting (Kosuke) Kanamaru more involved in the offense. And most importantly, tightening up the defense. This is why you saw (shooting guard) Toshikazu Kato inserted into the starting lineup.”

Sakuragi believes Mikawa still has room for improvement, but acknowledged the squad is “headed in the right direction.”

Second-division update

Here are the results of Friday’s B2 games:

Brave Warriors 74, Storks 69

Samuraiz 85, Five Arrows 58

89ers 89, Orange Vikings 81