Basketball / B. League

Brex dominate Albirex early to win on the road

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Utsunomiya Brex used a 21-0 run in the first quarter to seize control of their game against the Niigata Albirex BB on Sunday.

The big scoring spurt started with a Jeff Gibbs inside bucket with 6:08 to play in the quarter. It ended with Takanori Tahara’s in-the-paint jumper, courtesy of a Shuhei Kitagawa assist, that put the Brex ahead 32-7.

The Albirex trailed 34-12 after the opening stanza and lost their second game of the weekend, falling 85-76 in Nagaoka, Niigata Prefecture.

Makoto Hiejima, who nailed four 3-pointers, led Utsunomiya (12-4) with 17, while Gibbs added 13 points and 11 rebounds, Kosuke Takeuchi and Hironori Watanabe both had 12 points and Seiji Ikaruga 10. Do-it-all forward Ryan Rossiter chipped in with eight points, nine rebounds and five assists.

Nick Perkins had 27 points, Lamont Hamilton added 21 and Shunpei Ishii scored 13 for Niigata (5-11), with Kenta Morii handing out nine assists.

“Our start was a violent defense that could confuse our opponent’s pace,” Hiejima told reporters after the game.

Levanga 81, Jets 76

In Funabashi, Chiba Prefecture, the productive trio of Marc Trasolini (23 points, nine rebounds), Kennedy Meeks (18 points, 15 boards) and Asahi Tajima (13 points) carried Hokkaido to a bounce-back win over the hosts.

The Levanga (8-8) extended their lead to 65-49 late in the third quarter with a 9-0 run.

Yuki Togashi paced the Jets (9-7) with 19 points and seven assists. Gavin Edwards added 16 points and 10 rebounds, Josh Duncan had 14 points and seven assists and Michael Parker contributed 11 points and three blocks.

Alvark 85, NeoPhoenix 63

In Tachikawa, the Alvark controlled the tempo in a quality performance at both ends of the floor to complete a series sweep of winless San-en.

Center Alex Kirk, a University of New Mexico alum, put his stamp on the game by making 13 of 19 shots from the floor. He scored 28 points and snared eight rebounds. Frontcourt mate Milan Macvan contributed 17 points and 10 boards. Seiya Ando poured in 11 points and doled out seven assists, Yutaro Suda had 10 points and Daiki Tanaka added nine points and seven assists for Tokyo (11-3).

The Alvark defense yielded nine first-quarter points and seven in the third.

Jessie Govan led the NeoPhoenix (0-16) with 23 points and nine rebounds. Kyle Baron finished with 18 points, while Shuto Terazono supplied eight assists.

Grouses 72, SeaHorses 71

In Kariya, Aichi Prefecture, Leo Lyons’ 25-point, 12-rebound, five-assist effort helped Toyama salvage a series split.

Satoru Maeta poured in 19 points and Josh Peppers had 11 points and seven boards for the Grouses (5-11).

Mikawa’s Takuya Kawamura, who scored 15 points, sank a 3-pointer with 2 seconds remaining to account for the final score. Davante Gardner, who had a 42-point game in the series opener, finished with 19 points, 10 rebounds and five assists for the SeaHorses (4-12). Masaaki Morikawa scored 14 points and Ko Kumagai matched Gardner’s assist total.

Diamond Dolphins 83, Evessa 73

In Nagoya, Shuto Ando and Takaya Sasayama combined for 43 points and the hosts avenged their Saturday defeat to Osaka.

Ando had a team-high 23 points, followed by Sasayama’s 20. Big man Hilton Armstrong chipped in with 12 points and 18 rebounds for the Diamond Dolphins (9-7).

The Evessa (10-5) trailed 39-29 at halftime.

Josh Harrellson paced the visitors with 31 points and 13 rebounds. Sean O’Mara and Rei Goda each had 13 points.

Golden Kings 81, Lakestars 45

In Okinawa City, Ryukyu held Shiga to 30.5 percent shooting (18 of 59 from the field) and collected its second victory in as many days.

De’Mon Brooks was the Golden Kings’ high scorer with 21 points. Newcomer Eugene Phelps, a Long Beach State product, contributed 15 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals in his Ryukyu debut.

The Golden Kings (10-5) sank 12 of 24 3-point attempts.

Craig Brackins had 13 points and Koyo Takahashi scored 12 for Shiga (5-11). The Lakestars’ shooting woes were also present on Saturday (31.4 percent shooting).

Susanoo Magic 81, Northern Happinets 72

In Akita, Brian Qvale sparked Shimane with 29 points and corralled 13 rebounds, teammate Robert Carter scored 26 points and coach Yukinori Suzuki’s club cut down on its turnovers to earn a series split.

The Susanoo Magic (6-10) finished with 15 turnovers. They had 23 on Saturday.

For the Northern Happinets (9-6), Justin Keenan scored 25 points, Javier Carter had 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks and Takuya Nakayama provided eight points, five assists and five steals.

Brave Thunders 84, B-Corsairs 60

In Yokohama, Kawasaki dominated in the first half and closed out the game with an impressive fourth quarter to wrap up a series sweep.

Nick Fazekas led the Central Division-leading Brave Thunders (13-3) with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Mathias Calfani had 18 points on 7-for-9 shooting and Ryusei Shinoyama scored 17.

Gyorgy Goloman finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds for the B-Corsairs (5-10), who trailed 40-27 at halftime.

Sunrockers 81, Hannaryz 75

In Tokyo, Charles Jackson and Sebastian Saiz notched double-doubles and Leo Vendrame conducted the Shibuya offense with a flourish in a second consecutive victory over Kyoto.

Jackson had 20 points and 12 boards and Saiz provided 17 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. Vendrame filled the stat sheet with 13 points and eight assists for the Sunrockers (11-3).

Julian Mavunga had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Hannaryz (8-8), while Keijuro Matsui scored 17 points.