Basketball / B. League

Fukuoka hammers Kyoto for first victory of season

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

After an overtime loss on Friday night, the Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka rebounded in a big way, blasting the Kyoto Hannaryz 100-47 in the series finale on Saturday afternoon.

Benjamin Lawson scored 23 points, Dexter Pittman had 22 and Masashi Joho poured in 18 as Fukuoka celebrated its first victory of the season.

The team had lost its previous 11, leading to the dismissal of bench boss Ryuji Kawai last week, with Bob Nash being appointed the new sideline supervisor.

Fukuoka crashed the boards with reckless abandon and finished with a 54-28 rebounding edge, with Lawson collecting a game-best 16.

Kyoto, which played without star forward Julian Mavunga, trailed 26-9 after the opening quarter, 54-21 at halftime and 73-36 entering the final stanza.

A 19-0 spurt that bridged the second and third quarters put the hosts ahead 63-21 at the 7:11 mark of the third on a Joho 3-pointer. He sank five other 3s in the rout.

Nine Fukuoka players had two or more assists.

David Simon led the Hannaryz (7-5) with 13 points and Kevin Hareyama scored 10.

Kyoto shot 26.2 percent from the floor; the hosts made 38 of 71 (53.5).

NeoPhoenix 86, Levanga 80

In Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, playmaker Tatsuya Suzuki dished out 10 assists to help power San-en past Hokkaido, which dropped its fifth consecutive game.

William McDonald had 25 points on 11-for-22 shooting and pulled down 10 rebounds and Robert Dozier scored 12 points and hauled in 11 boards for the NeoPhoenix (4-7). Veteran big man Atsuya Ota added 11 points.

For the Levanga (3-8), Marc Trasolini was the high scorer with 22 points and Asahi Tajima put 14 points on the boards with six assists, while Kohei Sekino chipped in with 13 points and four steals. Spanish center David Doblas had 11 points and eight rebounds before fouling out.

Hokkaido hurt its cause at the free-throw line (14 of 24).

SeaHorses 83, Grouses 78

In Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, sharpshooter Kosuke Kanamaru drained 8 of 14 3s in an electrifying 31-point performance as Mikawa topped Toyama for its sixth straight victory.

SeaHorses newcomer James Southerland finished with 19 points, Toshikazu Kato added 10 and J.R. Sakuragi had eight points, seven boards and six assists. Center Isaac Butts, who shared the team lead in assists with Sakuragi and Shusuke Ikuhara, snared 21 rebounds.

Mikawa (6-5) opened the game on a 7-0 run and never trailed.

Leo Lyons paced the Grouses (7-4) with 22 points and Joshua Smith had 18 and a team-high 13 rebounds. Seiya Funyu and Yuto Otsuka added 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Brave Thunders 80, Evessa 79

In Osaka, Nick Fazekas flirted with a triple-double and balanced scoring carried Kawasaki past the hosts by the slimmest of margins.

The Evessa’s Naoya Kumagae made a basket with 8 seconds left to account for the final score.

Fazekas had 32 points, 10 boards, nine assists and four steals in his best all-around game this season, while Naoto Tsuji and Shane Edwards provided 11 and 10 points, respectively, for the Brave Thunders (6-5).

Xavier Gibson scored 24 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Osaka (4-7). Gibson also swatted four shots. Shunki Hatakeyama poured in 14 points and Josh Harrellson added 10.

The Evessa missed 16 of 19 3-point attempts.

Lakestars 93, Brex 90 (OT)

In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Gani Lawal’s 31-point performance and D’or Fischer’s season-high 26 points on 11-for-12 shooting carried Shiga past the hosts.

The Lakestars (3-8), guided by former Brex assistant coach Shawn Dennis, ended a six-game slide. They shot 61.7 percent from the field and held the hosts to 42.5.

Kohei Ninomiya contributed six points and nine assists off the bench, also adding three steals for Shiga. Teammate Yusuke Karino had 15 points, making 4 of 4 from long range, and Koyo Takahashi scored 11 points. Fischer and Lawal both hauled in nine rebounds.

With 1:33 to play in the fourth quarter, Ninomiya sank two free throws to make it 80-80. Neither team scored again in the period, sending it to OT.

Tochigi’s Ryan Rossiter had 23 points and 11 rebounds and Jeff Gibbs scored 21 points. Kosuke Hashimoto scored 12 points and Seiji Ikarga added nine with eight assists. Yuta Tabuse did not play for the Brex (9-2).

Jets 85, Sunrockers 83 (OT)

In Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, five Jets players scored in double figures and the hosts prevailed in OT against Shibuya.

Michael Parker notched a double-double (21 points, 11 rebounds) and Josh Duncan had 20 points. Fumio Nishimura added 12 points and five assists, with Aki Chambers and Kosuke Ishii each scoring 11. Yuki Togashi finished with seven points and seven assists.

Ryan Kelly led the Sunrockers (2-9) with 26 points along with 10 boards and five assists. Robert Sacre had 20 points and 15 rebounds.

Shibuya was 15-for-15 at the free-throw line.

Diamond Dolphins 97, Northern Happinets 83

In Akita, Nagoya’s Big 3 (Markeith Cummings, Justin Burrell and Shuto Ando) scored a combined 53 points to lead the Diamond Dolphins past the hosts.

Cummings, who’s in his first season with Nagoya (9-2), lit up the scoreboard for 28 points, with Burrell adding 22 and Ando 13. Burrell and Takaya Sasayama each dished out six assists.

Kadeem Coleby was the high scorer for the Happinets (3-8) with a 23-point outing, while Shota Onodera added 13.

Albirex BB 79, B-Corsairs 72

In Yokohama, frontcourt mates Davante Gardner and Lamont Hamilton combined for 51 points as Niigata outplayed the hosts.

Gardner, a Marquette University alum, led all scorers with 29 points, making 9 of 11 shots from the floor and 11 of 13 at the line. Hamilton had 22 points with seven assists. Veteran guard Shinsuke Kashiwagi canned five 3s in a 19-point effort. The team’s only other point-getter was Kei Igarashi, who had nine and seven assists.

Takuya Kawamura led the B-Corsairs (3-8) with 26 points. He knocked down 4 of 12 3s. Amanze Egekeze, who took 10 3s (three makes) scored 18 points. Ryo Tawatari added 13 points and 10 assists. Newcomer Prince Ibeh, a former University of Texas center, made his Yokohama debut, playing nine-plus minutes with four points and four rebounds before fouling out.

Golden Kings 75, Alvark 69

In Tachikawa, Ryukyu became the first B1 team with 10 victories this season by defeating the defending champions for the second time in as many days.

Josh Scott was the Golden Kings’ top scorer with 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting and Narito Namizato chipped in with 12 points and eight assists. Ryuichi Kishimoto and Takatoshi Furukawa each had 10 points.

Ryukyu (10-2) trailed 34-31 at halftime.

Alex Kirk paced the Alvark (8-4) with 24 points and Zack Baranski had 12. Daiki Tanaka finished with eight points and eight assists in a game featuring nine lead changes. Joji Takeuchi was Tokyo’s top board man (10 rebounds) on a day when he shot 2-for-11, including 1 of 7 from beyond the arc, and was held to five points.

Second-division update

Here are the results of Saturday’s B2 games:

Bambitious 87, Wat’s 79

Samuraiz 79, Five Arrows 72

Storks 78, Brave Warriors 75

Robots 93, Wyverns 75

Fighting Eagles 91, Bee Trains 68

Dragonflies 93, Crane Thunders 85

Volters 88, Earthfriends 85

Susanoo Magic 81, Firebonds 72

89ers 97, Orange Vikings 74