Basketball / B. League

Hannaryz outlast SeaHorses in 2OT; Julian Mavunga, Kennedy Meeks notch triple-doubles in wild game

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Kyoto Hannaryz and SeaHorses Mikawa produced a high-scoring drama on the hardwood on Saturday night.

And they gave fans additional memories to hold onto — two overtime periods of action.

Kyoto’s epic 107-100 double-OT home victory over Mikawa featured three players with 30 or more points and a pair of triple-doubles.

Indeed, a busy night for the stat crew, too.

Julian Mavunga, a Miami (Ohio) University alum, energized the Hannaryz (13-10) with 42 points, 11 rebounds and 16 assists. He tied the B. League first-division record for assists in a game, one he already shared with Ryukyu’s Narito Namizato.

Kyoto’s David Simon scored 36 points on 16-for-22 shooting and Yusuke Okada added 10 points. Hannaryz playmaker Tatsuya Ito registered nine assists.

Kyoto only used seven players in the game, with Mavunga and Simon both playing the entire 50 minutes.

Mikawa power forward Kennedy Meeks, who starred at the University of North Carolina, had 37 points, 20 rebounds and 10 assists. J.R. Sakuragi scored 17 points and hauled in 10 rebounds in 44:44 of court time, while James Southerland and Kosuke Kanamaru added 16 and 14 points, respectively for the SeaHorses (12-11).

With 19 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, Mavunga sank a pair of free throws to tie it at 82-82. That sent the game into OT.

In the first OT, Simon’s inside jumper made it 92-92 with 3 seconds left, and Sakuragi then missed a potential go-ahead 3. That forced a second OT period.

Alvark 76, Jets 72

In Tokyo, the Alvark relied on balanced scoring in their narrow victory over Chiba.

As a result, the reigning B. League champion Alvark ended the Jets’ eight-game winning streak.

For Tokyo coach Luka Pavicevic’s club, Yuda Baba and Alex Kirk each scored six fourth-quarter points.

Baba and Milko Bjelica finished with 17 points apiece at Komazawa Olympic Park Gymnasium, a facility used in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics for wrestling.

In this series opener, it was a tight duel.

Perhaps the biggest factor in the game was free-throw shooting. Tokyo made 25 of 28; Chiba sank 6 of 13.

The Alvark also won the rebounding battle (44-33).

Heading into the fourth quarter, the score was tied 57-57.

Baba drained two free throws with 21 seconds remaining to account for the final margin.

The Jets’ Yuki Togashi missed a 3-pointer with 11 seconds left, with Kirk rejecting the shot. Ando snared the rebound, wrapping up the game.

Kirk notched a double-double (13 points, 10 boards) with a pair of blocks. Joji Takeuchi had 11 points and Zack Baranski scored 10. Seiya Ando doled out four assists.

Chiba’s Gavin Edwards contributed 25 points, 15 rebounds and six assists. Togashi scored 21 points with seven assists and Michael Parker had an 11-point outing for the Jets (18-5).

Golden Kings 84, Diamond Dolphins 70

In Nagoya, four Ryukyu players scored in double figures and the visitors’ balanced offensive attack paved the way for a series-opening win against its West Division rival.

The Golden Kings (16-6) had 21 points in each of the four quarters.

Nagoya trailed 42-23 at halftime.

Takatoshi Furukawa paced Ryukyu with 22 points, including 4 of 4 from 3-point range. Josh Scott added 16 points, 15 boards and three blocks, while Namizato also poured in 16 points. Jeff Ayres contributed 16 points, 11 rebounds and six assists.

Markeith Cummings led the Diamond Dolphins (14-8) with 16 points, but finished 0-for-7 on 3-point attempts. Takaya Sasayama added 13 points.

Lakestars 78, Rizing Zephyr 70

In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, D’or Fischer and Gani Lawal each posted double-doubles and Yusuke Karino knocked down five 3-pointers as the Lakestars prevailed against Fukuoka.

Fischer had 23 points and 14 boards and Lawal provided 19 and 16. Karino also scored 19 points; he was 5 of 10 from long range. Taishi Ito dished out seven assists for Shiga (5-18).

Dexter Pittman was the high scorer for the Rizing Zephyr (4-19) with 15 points. Yasuhiro Yamashita added 14 points and 10 assists and Seiya Kano, who sank 4 of 5 shots from beyond the arc, also had a 14-point game. Benjamin Lawson finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds.

After a low-scoring first half — Shiga led 28-27 at the break — both teams picked up the scoring pace over the final two quarters.

Brave Thunders 108, Grouses 107 (OT)

In Toyama, Kawasaki withstood every challenge presented by the hosts in a razor-thin OT victory.

The Grouses (12-11) pulled within one on Joshua Smith’s putback before the final buzzer, but fell short at the end.

Smith had a game-high 36 points on 15-for-20 shooting and 20 rebounds. Toyama teammate Leo Lyons scored 30 points.

Nick Fazekas paced the Brave Thunders (14-9) with 27 points and 13 boards, Vernon Macklin had 18 points, Ryusei Shinoyama scored 17 points and doled out seven assists and Yuma Fujii contributed 16 points and eight assists. All told, six Kawasaki players scored in double figures.

Brex 75, Albirex BB 73

In Niigata, Hironori Watanabe’s 20-point outing and Ryan Rossiter’s 17 points and 14 rebounds helped guide Tochigi past the hosts in a matchup of top teams.

Tochigi’s Yusuke Endo added 13 points and five assists and Jeff Gibbs filled the stat sheet with 10 points, 10 boards, six assists and two steals.

Five Brex players all finished with one blocked shot.

Watanabe made 4 of 7 3s to ignite the offense from the perimeter.

Tochigi (19-4) held Niigata to 35 second-half points.

Davante Gardner led the Albirex (15-8) with 25 points. Lamont Hamilton chipped in with 15 points and 11 rebounds and Shinsuke Kashiwaga scored 11 points.

B-Corsairs 60, Evessa 59

In Yokohama, Takuya Kawamura’s game-best 22 points and five assists sparked the hosts, who held off Osaka down the stretch.

Evessa big man Josh Harrellson’s inside bucket produced the game’s final points with 35 seconds remaining.

B-Corsairs newcomer Arthur Stepheson scored the go-ahead basket with 1:42 left, putting the hosts ahead 58-57. Yokohama extended the lead to three on a Ryo Tawatari outside jumper with 48 seconds to play. Tawatari contributed 10 points and six assists.

Stepheson, a former University of Southern California player, finished with 16 points and 13 boards. In four games in a Yokohama uniform, he’s averaging 13.3 points and 13.0 rebounds.

Rim protector Prince Ibeh grabbed eight rebounds and swatted six shots for the B-Corsairs (5-18).

Harrellson led the Evessa (9-14) with 20 points and 12 boards. Xavier Gibson and Faye Pape Mour each had 12 points, while Hiroyuki Kinoshita handed out seven assists.

Levanga 84, Northern Happinets 79

In Sapporo, Marc Trasolini’s 28-point performance lifted Hokkaido to a bounce-back victory over Akita.

Trasolini made 9 of 10 free throws in the series finale.

Spaniard David Doblas had 15 points and seven rebounds and Yoshitake Matsushima scored 12 points and handed out a game-high 11 assists. Asahi Tajima dished out eight assists, while Takehiko Orimo put nine points on the board for the Levanga (6-18), who ended a two-game losing streak.

There were 12 ties and 11 lead changes and neither team led by more than nine points.

For the Northern Happinets (10-14), Justin Keenan had 19 points and four steals. Takuya Nakayama scored 17 points and Shota Onodera supplied 11. Ryosuke Shirahama was the team leader in assists (eight) and Kadeem Coleby topped the chart in rebounds (eight) and blocks (two).

In a post-game interview with The Japan Times, Trasolini acknowledged that “the team mood is great.”

“We needed that win a lot,” Trasolini said. “It was tough to lose yesterday (in overtime) but we were extra focused and executed a good game plan.”

He added: “We attacked them better on offense and the key was making plays late in the fourth quarter. We got a couple big shots and stops on defense when we needed them.”

Sunrockers 93, NeoPhoenix 85

In Tokyo, Ryan Kelly scored 33 points and Robert Sacre delivered a 21-point performance as Shibuya continued its push toward a .500 record by beating San-en.

Leo Venrame made his mark with 16 points and 11 assists and Kenta Hirose added 10 points for the Sunrockers (11-12).

Shibuya outscored the visitors 29-18 in the final stanza.

Josh Childress led the NeoPhoenix (9-14) with 34 points and pulled down 12 rebounds while playing all 40 minutes. Frontcourt mate William McDonald had 14 points and Hayato Kawashima and Shuto Tawatari each scored nine.

Second-division update

Here are the results of Saturday’s B2 games:

Volters 72, 89ers 59

Samuraiz 75, Dragonflies 69

Firebonds 97, Orange Vikings 78

Robots 106, Fighting Eagles 88*

Crane Thunders 90, Bambitious 73

Wyverns 93, Bee Trains 72

Brave Warriors 78, Earthfriends 74

Storks 75, Wat’s 73

Susanoo Magic 69, Five Arrows 64

*Ibaraki’s Scootie Randall finished with 40 points (15 of 19 from the floor), nine rebounds and nine assists against Nagoya.