Basketball / B. League

Levanga cruise past Mikawa in high-scoring contest

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Levanga Hokkaido offensive clicked on Saturday afternoon against the visiting SeaHorses Mikawa.

Kennedy Meeks and Markeith Cummings combined for 56 points and Hokkaido increased its scoring output in every quarter en route to a 97-84 triumph in Sapporo.

The Levanga (13-23) trailed 18-16 after one quarter and 42-38 at halftime. Then they outscored the SeaHorses 27-18 in the third and 32-24 in the fourth.

Meeks, a key member of the University of North Carolina’s NCAA championship-winning squad in 2017, finished with 31 points and a season-high 16 rebounds. Cummings had 25 points and seven assists. Faye Pape Mour added 13 points, Tsukasa Nakano provided 10 points and Asahi Tajima contributed eight points and seven assists without a turnover.

In a game without many major miscues, Hokkaido chalked up 24 assists against five turnovers. Mikawa had 18 assists and six turnovers.

Davante Gardner led the SeaHorses (16-20) with 26 points and 10 boards, Kosuke Kanamaru scored 15 points and J.R. Sakuragi 12.

Lakestars 80, NeoPhoenix 70

In Moriyama, Shiga Prefecture, Takumi Saito, one of the league’s most exciting young players, scored a season-high 30 points and dished out seven assists in the hosts’ victory over San-en.

Saito drained 13 of 14 foul shots in the series opener.

Shiga forward Jeff Ayres chipped in with a double-double (22 points, 14 rebounds) along with five assists, while Koyo Takahashi poured in 15 points. Craig Brackins grabbed 10 rebounds.

The Lakestars (18-18) led 34-31 at halftime.

For the NeoPhoenix (3-33), center Viacheslav Kravtsov had 20 points on 10-for-15 shooting and three blocks. Robert Dozier and Yuki Kawamura added 15 and 11 points, respectively. San-en lost its 12th consecutive game.

Shiga outrebounded San-en 48-29.

Diamond Dolphins 61, Jets 59

In Chiba, the title-chasing Jets had a chance to win the game on their final possession, but Yuki Togashi’s 3-point shot with 5 seconds remaining missed its target.

Nagoya’s Taito Nakahigashi grabbed the defensive rebound, the clock ran out and the visitors ended Chiba’s 10-game win streak.

Shuto Ando had a game-best 19 points, including 4 of 7 from 3-point range, for the Diamond Dolphins (15-21). Newcomer Jamel McLean, a Xavier University product who began the season with the Italian League’s Dinamo Sassari, chipped in with 14 points, nine boards and a block. Justin Burrell added 12 points and nine rebounds, while Takaya Sasayama doled out 10 assists. Nakahigashi provided nine points and nine rebounds.

Michael Parker, Nick Mayo and Fumio Nishimura scored 12 points apiece for the Jets (25-11).

Chiba was 4 of 21 on 3-point shots.

Brave Thunders 74, Brex 72

In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, Kawasaki held the hosts to 36.8 percent shooting and held on for a narrow win in the rivals’ series opener.

Brex forward Jeff Gibbs made an inside jumper with 2 seconds left to account for the final score.

Yuma Fujii sparked the Central Division-leading Brave Thunders (28-8 overall, 15-4 away) with 22 points and five assists. Nick Fazekas poured in 21 points, raked in nine rebounds, handed out four assists and swatted two shots in a banner performance. Jordan Heath finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds with three blocks.

Kawasaki outscored the hosts 42-24 in the paint.

Gibbs had 17 points for Utsunomiya (27-9 overall, 13-4 at home), which trailed 39-32 at halftime. Seiji Ikaruga added 15 points and Yusuke Endo scored 13. The visitors held Ryan Rossiter to nine points on 4-for-11 shooting. Makoto Hiejima matched Rossiter’s scoring total on 4-for-12 shooting.

Sunrockers 89, Hannaryz 84

In Kyoto, Sebastian Saiz delivered an MVP-caliber effort to lead Shibuya past the Hannaryz.

The Sunrockers big man scored 29 points, corralled 15 rebounds and made four steals. He shot 12-for-16 from the floor, including three dunks.

Shibuya’s Ryan Kelly finished with 20 points and six assists. Captain Leo Vendrame added nine points for the Sunrockers (23-12).

David Simon had 21 points and nine rebounds for Kyoto (18-18). Julian Mavunga chipped in with 18 points and nine assists, while Ryo Terashima scored 11 with five assists.

Evessa 76, Northern Happinets 72

In Osaka, coach Kensaku Tennichi’s squad had a pivotal 9-0 run late in the game to help secure a victory over Akita.

The big spurt, which was capped by a Hiromu Nakamura 3-pointer, put the Evessa in front 74-65 with 1:39 remaining.

Nakamura had a team-best 18 points and Ira Brown and Takuya Hashimoto both scored 14 for Osaka (24-11). Richard Hendrix finished with 12 points, 11 rebounds and six assists. Josh Harrellson matched Hendrix’s assist total and pulled down 11 rebounds.

Justin Keenan led the Northern Happinets with 18 points and five assists. Nyika Williams had a 17-point, eight-rebound game and Kadeem Coleby added 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Akita (13-23), which shot 37.8 percent from the floor, made 15 steals.

Alvark 94, B-Corsairs 70

In Tachikawa, the two-time reigning champions outscored Yokohama in each of the first three quarters en route to a runaway victory.

The B-Corsairs (9-26) trailed 73-46 entering the final stanza.

Alex Kirk paced the Alvark (27-9) with 22 points and hauled in nine boards. Seiya Ando had 18 points and six assists. Kevin Jones contributed 15 points, while Zack Baranski, Yutaro Suda and Joji Takeuchi all scored nine. Star guard Daiki Tanaka, who was limited to two points on 1-for-7 shooting, made his mark with five rebounds, six assists, three steals and a block.

For Yokohama, James Southerland and Reginald Becton both had 13 points and Raita Akaho scored 10.

Tokyo sank 21 of 26 free-throw attempts; Yokohama converted 6 of 13.

Susanoo Magic 75, Albirex BB 60

In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Brian Qvale and Robert Carter both produced double-doubles and Takuya Soma put 20 points on the board against Niigata.

Qvale’s work day included 23 points, 10 boards and five assists. Carter had 19 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks.

The Susanoo Magic (11-25) outscored the Albirex 19-7 in the fourth.

Keita Imamura led Niigata (12-24) with 21 points and Nick Perkins scored 12.

Golden Kings 78, Grouses 60

In Tomigusuku, Okinawa Prefecture, Ryuichi Kishimoto scored a team-high 15 points and De’Mon Brooks energized Ryukyu with 14 points and five steals in a victory over Toyama.

Jack Cooley added 12 points and 12 boards for the Golden Kings 22-12), while Narito Namizato dished out six assists.

For the Grouses (14-22), Leo Lyons was the top scorer with 17 points.

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