There are times when the obvious top scoring option for the SeaHorses Mikawa is this: Give Kosuke Kanamaru the ball and get out of the way.
Saturday was one of those days.
Kanamaru, a splendid scorer when he’s at the top of his game, made basket after basket in the series opener against the Osaka Evessa.
When the 40-minute contest was wrapped up, Kanamaru had produced these numbers: 34 points, 13-for-16 shooting, including 2 of 2 from 3-point range plus 6 of 6 at the free-throw line, in 20 exhilarating minutes.
It all added up to a starring role in the SeaHorses’ 98-78 rout of the host Evessa, who suffered their sixth consecutive loss.
Kanamaru only played in the first and third quarters. He had 21 points on 9-for-10 shooting entering the second quarter. Mikawa led 27-17 after the opening period.
Kanamaru nearly had twice as many points as any of the other 20 players who stepped onto the court in Osaka. Teammate Kennedy Meeks provided 18 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists. J.R. Sakuragi also dished out seven assists for Mikawa (20-17).
Kanamaru had a 34-point outing on Dec. 23 and a 40-point outburst on Boxing Day. He is averaging 18.2 points per game.
Evessa center Josh Harrellson led his team with 17 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.
Rei Goda added 14 points for Osaka (14-23).
Hannaryz 73, Brave Thunders 69
In Kyoto, floor conductor Julian Mavunga directed the offensive attack as the hosts edged Kawasaki.
Mavunga led all scorers with 25 points and dished out a game-best seven assists. He buried four 3s and snared eight rebounds in a banner performance for the Hannaryz (20-17), who trailed 33-32 at halftime.
David Simon notched a double-double for Kyoto with 22 points and 11 boards. Kevin Hareyama scored 12 points, all on 3s, and Yusuke Osaka added eight points.
Nick Fazekas led the Brave Thunders (22-15) with 23 points and 10 boards and Naoto Tsuji scored 20 points, with Vernon Macklin and Ryusei Shinoyama each finishing with 10.
Levanga 89, Lakestars 72
In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Hokkaido outscored the hosts 27-13 in the second quarter, erasing an early deficit and grabbing momentum to set the tone in a convincing victory.
The Levanga (9-28) sank 18 of 20 free throws.
Marc Trasolini led Hokkaido with 25 points and 12 rebounds. Ageless sharpshooter Takehiko Orimo had 19 points, making 4 of 5 3-point attempts, and David Doblas chipped in with 18 points. Daisuke Noguchi scored seven points and Yoshitake Matsushima handed out seven assists.
Gani Lawal had 22 points and 11 rebounds for Shiga (8-29) and Marqus Blakely supplied 21 points, 11 boards and five assists. Yusuke Karino scored seven points.
Jets 68, Brex 65
In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Chiba earned its third victory by less than 10 points, including the down-to-the-wire Emperor’s Cup final in overtime, against the Brex this season.
As a results, the East Division-leading Jets (32-5) extended their regular-season winning streak to 14.
For Chiba, previous narrow wins in this heated rivalry include an 80-71 decision on Nov. 16, and a 71-69 triumph in the All-Japan Basketball Championship final on Jan 13.
Gavin Edwards ignited the Jets with 18 points and 12 rebounds and Yuki Togashi scored 10 points and dished out six assists. Michael Parker contributed nine points, 15 boards, four assists and three blocks.
Makoto Hiejima had the hot hand for Tochigi (29-8) with 18 points, draining 4 of 5 from beyond the arc. Jeff Gibbs scored 12 points and Hironori Watanabe had 11. Ryan Rossiter added eight points, 15 rebounds and three steals.
Albirex BB 79, Golden Kings 69
In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, the hosts outscored Ryukyu in the first, third and fourth quarters en route to victory.
Four of Niigata’s starters scored in double figures: Davante Gardner (23 points, 11 rebounds), Lamont Hamilton (17 points, 9-for-10 on free throws, 16 rebounds, five assists), Shinsuke Kashiwagi (14 points, eight assists) and Kei Igarashi (10 points, nine assists). Yuichi Ikeda added eight points off the bench for the Albirex (26-11).
Amanze Egekeze led the Golden Kings (24-13) with 22 points and corralled 11 rebounds. Kevin Jones had 20 points and 13 boards and Takatoshi Furukawa scored nine points.
Ryukyu lost its third straight game.
Alvark 84, Rizing Zephyr 74
In Fukuoka, Alex Kirk had team-high totals of 23 points and 11 rebounds and blocked a season-best five shots as Tokyo completed a series sweep.
Daiki Tanaka finished with 16 points and Yudai Baba and Seiya Ando had 13 and 11, respectively for the Alvark (26-12), who won their fifth straight.
Seven Tokyo players handed out two or more assists, including Baba and Genki Kojima with five apiece.
Dexter Pittman had 27 points and 14 rebounds for Fukuoka (9-29) and Benjamin Lawson scored 21 points. Shota Tsuyama added 12 points and four assists before a lively audience of 5,618 spectators.
Diamond Dolphins 94, Grouses 83
In Nagoya, potent 3-point shooting lifted the hosts in a bounce-back win over Toyama.
The Diamond Dolphins (21-17) canned 14 of 31 3s. Five Nagoya players sank two or more, including Toshihiro Nakatsuka, who knocked down 5 of 7 in a 17-point performance.
Markeith Cummings led Nagoya with 29 points and provided five assists, Hilton Armstrong scored 15 and grabbed eight rebounds and Takaya Sasayama had 13 points and five assists.
Joshua Smith was Toyama’s high scorer with 27 points on 10-for-14 shooting. Leo Lyons followed with 18 points and 10 boards, while Takeshi Mito had 15 points, with Naoki Uto contributing seven assists.
The Grouses (19-19) won Friday’s game in overtime, 83-82.
Sunrockers 75, Northern Happinets 63
In Tokyo, Robert Sacre and Leo Vendrame both scored 18 points and the Sunrockers held Akita to 21 first-half points while winning the series opener.
Vendrame was 4 of 4 on 3-point attempts, nailing more than any other player in the game.
Sacre also pulled down seven rebounds, while frontcourt mate Ryan Kelly had 13 points, nine boards, five assists, two steals and two blocks for Shibuya (17-20).
Justin Keenan led the Happinets (13-24) with 22 points and 12 rebounds and Ryuto Yasuoka scored 12 points. Takuya Nakayama doled out seven assists.
B-Corsairs 83, NeoPhoenix 82
In Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Arthur Stepheson and Edward Morris both notched double-doubles and Yokohama salvaged a series split, winning its rematch with San-en.
Point guard Ryo Tawatari made two free throws — his only points of the game — with 4 seconds to play, giving the B-Corsairs an 83-79 lead.
Then the NeoPhoenix’s Hayato Kawashima flushed a 3 before the final buzzer to account for the final score.
Stepheson finished with 20 points, 14 boards and three blocks and Morris contributed 14 points, 11 rebounds and four assists. Takuya Kawamura had 16 points and eight assists and Masashi Hosoya came off the bench and scored 14 points and doled out six assists for Yokohama (10-28).
Josh Childress paced San-en (17-21) with 24 points, 18 rebounds and seven assists. Childress also blocked two shots.
William McDonald had 20 points on 10-for-14 shooting for the NeoPhoenix and Shuto Tawatari scored nine points against his brother’s team. Atsuya Ota, who had 17 points in the series opener, was held to five points.
Here are the results of Saturday’s B2 games:
Brave Warriors 78, Robots 67
Fighting Eagles 83, Storks 80
Orange Vikings 97, Dragonflies 96
Crane Thunders 78, Samuraiz 75
Five Arrows 83, Earthfriends 63*
Susanoo Magic 92, Bee Trains 61
Wat’s 80, 89ers 73
Wyverns 75, Firebonds 71
Volters 114, Bambitious 54
*Kagawa snapped an 18-game losing streak in Saturday’s series finale. Swingman Terrance Woodbury sparked the Five Arrows with 28 points and nine rebounds and Reggie Warren had 22 points, 14 boards and seven assists. Point guard Keitaro Kimura chipped in with 18 points and six assists.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5