Basketball / B. League

Impressive outside shooting carries Brex past Sunrockers

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Tochigi Brex didn’t have a single player carrying the offense on Saturday.

Instead, it was an across-the-board effort that produced a 91-71 victory over the Sunrockers Shibuya at Brex Arena Utsunomiya.

Hironori Watanabe (22 points), Jeff Gibbs (18 points) and Ryan Rossiter (11 points) score more than half of the team’s points, but the Brex excelled by distributing the scoring opportunities.

Kosuke Hashimoto poured in nine points, going 3-for-3 on 3-point attempts. Ryo Yamazaki and Kosuke Takeuchi each had eight points.

Five Brex players shot 50 percent or better on 3s: Watanabe (4 of 8), Hashimoto, Rossiter (3 of 4), Yamazaki (2 of 3) and Gibbs (2 of 3). Tochigi finished 14-for-28 from long range.

Rossiter set up the offense with aplomb, dishing out a team-high eight assists. Gibbs, who led all players with 15 rebounds, handed out seven assists.

Tochigi led 45-34 at halftime.

The Brex (31-8) held the Sunrockers to a combined 26 points in the first and fourth quarters. They outscored Shibuya 22-14 in the fourth.

Robert Sacre scored 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Shibuya (18-21). Kenta Hirose and Morihisa Yamauchi scored 10 points apiece.

Tochigi limited Sunrockers guard Leo Vendrame’s effectiveness. Vendrame scored seven points and doled out seven assists, but also had six turnovers.

Alvark 83, Lakestars 70

In Tachikawa, five Tokyo players scored in double figures as the reigning champions cruised past Shiga.

Alex Kirk led the Alvark with 20 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Starting guard Seiya Ando poured in 16 points, Yudai Baba had 11 and Daiki Tanaka and Jawad Williams both contributed 10.

Baba dished out six assists and Genki Kojima had five for the Alvark (27-12), who have won six in a row.

Tokyo connected on 8 of 26 3-point attempts; Shiga made 1 of 12.

For the Lakestars (8-31), Gani Lawal scored 33 points and corralled 14 rebounds, while Marqus Blakely had 28 points and 13 boards.

Shiga finished with 11 assists and 16 turnovers.

Hannaryz 89, Diamond Dolphins 82

In Komaki, Aichi Prefecture, David Simon’s game-high 36 points powered Kyoto past Nagoya for its sixth straight win.

Simon, the league’s No. 2 scorer (24.1 points per game), made 16 of 23 shots from the floor and grabbed eight rebounds. Julian Mavunga added 26 points and nine assists for the Hannaryz (22-17). Kevin Hareyama and Tatsuya Ito chipped in with 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Markeith Cummings and Hilton Armstrong led the Diamond Dolphins (21-18) with 18 points apiece, and Armstrong snared 10 boards to complete the double-double. Tenketsu Harimoto and Shuto Ando each had 11 points, with Harimoto draining three 3-pointers.

Jets 76, Golden Kings 62

In Okinawa City, Josh Duncan ignited the Chiba offense with 17 points off the bench in just over 23 minutes, and the Jets outscored the hosts 37-22 in the middle two quarters en route to victory.

Yuki Togashi added 14 points and Michael Parker chipped in with 12 and four steals for Chiba (33-6). Fumio Nishimura scored nine points with four assists and Shigehiro Taguchi and Gavin Edwards both put eight points on the board.

Jeff Ayres had a team-high 11 points for Ryukyu (24-15), which saw its losing streak reach five.

Golden Kings power forward Ira Brown, who had been sidelined since late November due to a left knee injury, appeared in his first game of 2019. He scored nine points and snared five rebounds in 16-plus minutes.

Ryukyu’s Ryoma Hashimoto, Narito Namizato and Ryuichi Kishimoto all finished with eight points. Namizato also dished out seven assists.

B-Corsairs 85, Rizing Zephyr 77

In Fukuoka, Yokohama floor leader Takuya Kawamura had 23 points and seven assists and Ryo Tawatari poured in 19 points and five assists as the visitors outplayed the Rizing Zephyr.

Brandon Costner contributed 19 points and Arthur Stepheson had 10 points and 17 rebounds for the B-Corsairs (11-28), who have won back-to-back games for the first time since Dec. 15-16 against the Osaka Evessa.

Tawatari drained 3 of 3 from beyond the 3-point arc.

Masashi Joho scored 16 points for Fukuoka (9-30), as did Tenyoku You. Benjamin Lawson had 14 points and former NBA center Dexter Pittman supplied nine points, 15 rebounds and five assists.

Grouses 85, Evessa 50

In Toyama, Leo Lyons had 26 points as coach Don Beck’s squad routed Osaka in the series opener.

Joshua Smith poured in 19 points and hauled in 12 boards for the Grouses (23-16) and Naoki Uto had 12 points and handed out six assists, with Tomokazu Abe also dishing out five assists.

Josh Harrellson scored 16 points and pulled down 12 boards for the Evessa (15-23), who shot 27.7 percent overall. Teammate Naoya Kumagae had a 15-point performance and blocked three shots.

Albirex BB 79, Levanga 64

In Sapporo, Niigata’s dynamic one-two punch of Davante Gardner and Lamont Hamilton combined for 44 points and 20 rebounds in a convincing win over the hosts.

Gardner led the way with 25 points and raked in 10 rebounds. Hamilton put 19 points on the board and also collected 10 boards.

Starting guards Shinsuke Kashiwagi and Kei Igarashi had nine and eight points, respectively, for Niigata (28-11), with Kashiwagi dishing out five assists and made four steals.

David Doblas was Hokkaido’s top scorer with 28 points on 14-for-21 shooting and hauled in 10 boards. Marc Trasolini was the team leader in rebounds (13) and Asahi Tajima added 11 points for the Levanga (10-29).

Brave Thunders 83, NeoPhoenix 81

In Hiratsuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Nick Fazekas had 31 points and 11 rebounds to lead Kawasaki past San-en.

The Brave Thunders pulled ahead 82-81 with nine seconds remaining on a Ryusei Shinoyama 3-pointer.

Then Hayato Kawashima of the NeoPhoenix missed an outside jumper, and Kawasaki’s Takumi Hasegawa was fouled with one second left. He made the first of two shots to account for the final score.

Brave Thunders big man Vernon Macklin scored 19 points on 9-for-13 shooting from the field, but made 1 of 6 at the free-throw line.

Shinoyama finished with 14 points, while Yuma Fujii had nine assists and four steals for Kawasaki (23-16).

William McDonald had a team-high 21 points and hauled in 12 boards for San-en (17-22). Josh Childress added 18 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists. Shuto Tawatari followed with 14 points, including four 3s, and Kawashima had 12.

Second-division update

Here are the results of Saturday’s B2 games:

89ers 95, Five Arrows 82

Samuraiz 98, Bee Trains 90

Dragonflies 93, Robots 71

Firebonds 118, Volters 110

Fighting Eagles 87, Wyverns 79

Brave Warriors 96, Orange Vikings 77

Crane Thunders 75, Storks 57

Susanoo Magic 77, Bambitious 64

Earthfriends 91, Wat’s 79