Basketball / B. League

Kosuke Ishii ignites high-flying Jets

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

Chiba Jets Funabashi perimeter marksman Kosuke Ishii had the hot hand early in Saturday’s contest.

The 31-year-old shooting guard took four shots in the first period. He made them all, including 3 of 3 from 3-point range against the visiting Rizing Zephyr Fukuoka.

By the end of the first quarter, Ishii had scored 11 of his team’s 24 points.

He finished with 23 points, tying Michael Parker for the team lead. The Jets, meanwhile, blasted Fukuoka, winning 102-63 at Funabashi Arena.

Ishii went 5-for-5 from long range and 9-for-11 overall. He also drained 7 of 10 free throws in 22-plus minutes. He leads the B. League in 3-point shooting accuracy (48.2 percent).

As a team, the Jets knocked down 15 of 27 3s. Shigehiro Taguchi, Fumio Nishimura and Shuta Hara made two apiece.

Parker converted 11 of 15 shots from the floor and corralled eight rebounds. He added three steals for good measure.

Jets big man Gavin Edwards had 14 points and pulled down six boards. Yuki Togashi and Nishimura each had six assists for Chiba (34-7).

Fukuoka trailed 50-30 at halftime.

Dexter Pittman paced the Rizing Zephyr (10-31) with 16 points and nine rebounds. Eric Jacobsen and Masashi Joho each contributed 11 points.

Albirex BB 85, Diamond Dolphins 72

In Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture, Davante Gardner’s 40-point, 15-rebound, six-assist performance guided the Central Division leaders past Nagoya.

Gardner leads B1 with 26.9 points per game.

Lamont Hamilton added 19 points and Kei Igarashi had 11 and doled out eight assists for Niigata (29-11), which scored 54 points in the paint.

Markeith Cummings had a team-best 23 points for the Diamond Dolphins (22-18), followed by Shuto Ando’s 14 and Craig Brackins 10. Taito Nakahigashi grabbed 12 rebounds and Takaya Sasayama provided six assists and five steals along with five points in the loss.

SeaHorses 73, B-Corsairs 70

In Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, the hosts escaped with a narrow victory after an eight-point lead slipped away down the stretch.

Yokohama’s Takuya Kawamura missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 3 seconds left.

Four seconds earlier, Mikawa’s Yuta Okada sank two free throws to account for the game’s final score.

Okada, who’s only 20 years old, led the SeaHorses (23-18) with 18 points, including 3 of 6 3s. Teammate Isaac Butts notched a double-double (16 points, 11 boards) and Kennedy Meeks had a 14-point outing. J.R. Sakuragi dished out a team-high four assists.

Arthur Stepheson had 16 points and 11 rebounds for the B-Corsairs (11-30), while Brandon Costner added 14 points and Kawamura scored 11.

Stepheson misfired on all eight of his 3-point attempts.

Both teams scored 36 points in the paint.

Brex 73, NeoPhoenix 53

In Hamamatsu, strong rebounding helped fuel Tochigi’s convincing win over San-en.

Ryan Rossiter collected 12 rebounds, Jeff Gibbs snared 10 and Kosuke Takeuchi raked in eight as the Brex outrebounded the hosts 49-34.

Tochigi also held a 16-8 edge on the offensive glass, which helped coach Ryuzo Anzai’s team outscore the NeoPhoenix 15-4 on second-chance points.

Takeuchi was the visitors’ leading scorer with 15 points on 7-for-8 shooting. Makoto Hiejima poured in 14 points, Gibbs had 13 and Rossiter finished with 10.

The Brex (33-8) led 38-22 at halftime.

Josh Childress paced San-en (17-24) with 19 points and eight boards. William McDonald scored 12 points.

The NeoPhoenix were held to 31.7 percent shooting in the series opener.

Hannaryz 88, Lakestars 83

In Kyoto, David Simon attempted the most shots (26) and made the most (14) as the Hannaryz topped Shiga.

Simon led Kyoto with 31 points and pulled down 10 boards to complete the double-double.

Floor leader Julian Mavunga had 20 points and dished out five assists, with Kevin Hareyama and Tatsuya Ito both scoring 10 points for the Hannaryz (22-18). Hareyama matched Mavunga’s assist total.

For the Lakestars (8-32), Henry Walker, who was known as Bill until 2014, was the high scorer with 25 points and fellow newcomer Allen Durham added 23 points and 13 boards. Both players made their Shiga debuts on Saturday. Koyo Takahashi finished with 13 points.

Walker, 31, spent time in the NBA with the Boston Celtics, New York Knicks and Miami Heat, appearing in 181 regular-season games over five seasons. The Kansas State alum last played in the NBA with the Heat in the 2014-15 season.

Golden Kings 72, Levanga 57

In Okinawa City, Takatoshi Furukawa and Jeff Ayres combined for 37 points to lead the hosts past Hokkaido.

Furukawa topped the scoring chart with 19 points and Ayres had 18 along with a game-best 14 rebounds. Ayres drained 4 of 5 3s.

Swingman Yutaro Suda canned 3 of 5 3s in an 11-point effort. Ira Brown had eight points and Naoki Tashiro scored seven, with Ryuichi Kishimoto handing out five assists for the Golden Kings (26-15).

Ryukyu opened the game with a 10-0 run and never trailed.

For Hokkaido (10-31), Marc Trasolini had 14 points and Asahi Tajima dished out nine assists.

Northern Happinets 70, Evessa 55

In Yurihonjo, Akita Prefecture, Justin Keenan’s 20-point, 11-rebound effort and Kadeem Coleby’s double-double (17 and 11) and four blocks helped guide the hosts past Osaka.

Takuya Nakayama contributed 10 points, nine assists and four steals for Akita (13-27).

Shunki Hatakeyama was the lone double-digit scorer (11 points) for the Evessa.

Osaka had 14 assists and 14 turnovers while shooting 30.8 percent from the floor.

Brave Thunders 89, Sunrockers 80 (OT)

In Kawasaki, Naoto Tsuji scored 11 of the hosts’ first 29 points, but his team’s balanced scoring secured an overtime triumph against Shibuya.

For the Brave Thunders (24-16), Shane Edwards had 24 points and 14 rebounds, Tsuji finished with 19 points, Ryusei Shinoyama put 13 on the board, Nick Fazekas added 11 and Yuma Fujii nine.

Fujii, Shinoyama and Tsuji shared the team lead with six assists apiece.

Ryan Kelly had 26 points and 21 rebounds for the Sunrockers (18-22) and Robert Sacre scored 22 points and grabbed 18 boards. Kenta Hirose added eight points.

Alvark 86, Grouses 78

In Tachikawa, Alex Kirk scored 20 points and three teammates also reached double figures in points in Tokyo’s victory over Toyama.

Seiya Ando poured in 19 points, with a 5-for-7 effort from beyond the arc. Yudai Baba followed with 15 points and seven assists and Daiki Tanaka chipped in with 14 points and seven assists.

Kirk was the team leader in rebounds (nine).

Five Alvark players blocked at least one shot, with Baba and Joji Takeuchi leading the way with two apiece.

Tokyo (29-12) trailed 44-36 entering the third quarter.

Joshua Smith and Leo Lyons scored 24 and 22 points, respectively, for Toyama (21-20). Naoki Uto added 16 points.

Smith, who made 11 of 15 shots, hauled in 13 rebounds. Lyons handed out five assists.

The Grouses outscored the hosts 50-20 in the paint and made 28 of 54 2-point attempts, but struggled from long range (4 of 13 on 3s).

Conversely, Tokyo made 14 of 28 2-point shots and 12 of 30 3s.

Second-division update

Here are the results of Saturday’s B2 games:

Firebonds 85, Wat’s 78

Fighting Eagles 99, Orange Vikings 77

Storks 80, Wyverns 66

Bee Trains 106, Samuraiz 99

Dragonflies 79, Volters 67

Bambitious 83, 89ers 81

Five Arrows 82, Brave Warriors 65

Crane Thunders 86, Susanoo Magic 70*

*-Thomas Kennedy had a team-high 37 points for Gunma, while veteran guard Tsubasa Yonamine made his Shimane debut after being acquired from Kanazawa earlier in the week. Yonamine played 15-plus minutes and contributed three assists and a block.