Basketball / B. League

Much-improved Lakestars complete weekend sweep of NeoPhoenix

by Ed Odeven

Staff Writer

The Shiga Lakestars thoroughly dominated the second quarter on Sunday against the San-en NeoPhoenix, outscoring the visitors 21-7 in that 10-minute span.

That played a pivotal role in the Lakestars’ 83-67 victory over the NeoPhoenix in Otsu, Shiga Prefecture.

Shiga (19-18) extended its winning streak to three and triumphed for the eighth time in 10 games.

Lakestars point guard Takumi Saito, who had 30 points in the series opener on Saturday, scored a game-high 21 points. Jeff Ayres finished with 16 points and eight boards and frontcourt mate Henry Walker came close to a triple-double with 16 points, nine rebounds and eight assists along with three steals. Avi Koki Schafer contributed eight points and 10 rebounds, while veteran floor leader Masaya Karimata had a 10-point outing.

Rookie guard Yuki Kawamura paced the NeoPhoenix (3-24) with 19 points. Robert Dozier added 16 points and 12 boards.

Northern Happinets 88, Evessa 64

In Osaka, Akita turned its defensive up a notch in the second half as coach Kenzo Maeda’s squad earned a bounce-back victory over the Evessa.

Osaka turned the ball over 13 times in the second half, including eight times in the fourth quarter. The Evessa had 25 total turnovers.

The Northern Happinets (16-20) made 15 steals.

Justin Keenan led Akita with 21 points and four steals. Kadeem Coleby scored 10 points and Sota Oura and Ryosuke Shirahama both had nine.

Josh Harrellson paced the Evessa (24-12) with 13 points and snared 11 rebounds. Kyle Barone had 12 points and 12 boards, while Ira Brown also scored 12 points.

Alvark 95, B-Corsairs 60

In Tachikawa, balanced scoring carried Tokyo past Yokohama, giving Alvark bench boss Luka Pavicevic’s team a weekend sweep.

Alex Kirk scored 19 points, Joji Takeuchi poured in 16, Milan Macvan had 14, Daiki Tanaka netted 11 and Zack Baranski had 10 for the Alvark (28-9). Macvan grabbed 12 rebounds to complete the double-double. Seiya Ando dished out six assists. Takeuchi led the two-time defending champions in blocks (three).

The B-Corsairs (9-27) trailed 42-32 at halftime.

James Southerland had 17 points for Yokohama.

Jets 87, Diamond Dolphins 83

In Chiba, Josh Duncan scored 18 points, Michael Parker had 16 and the Jets salvaged a weekend split with Nagoya.

Yuki Togashi and Nick Mayo both scored 15 points for Chiba (26-11). Parker hauled in 11 rebounds. Togashi and Fumio Nishimura dished out six assists apiece.

Jamel McLean and Toshihiro Nakatsuka finished with 14 points apiece for the Diamond Dolphins (15-22). McLean also pulled down 16 rebounds. Justin Burrell and Takaya Sasayama each had 13 points, with Sasayama also handing out nine assists.

Brex 76, Brave Thunders 67

In Utsunomiya, Tochigi Prefecture, the hosts overcame a 10-point halftime deficit and outplayed Kawasaki the rest of the game to avenge Saturday’s series-opening loss.

The Brex (27-9) faced a 44-34 deficit entering the third quarter. They cut it to 56-54 entering the final stanza.

Utsunomiya used a 15-0 spurt that began with a Jeff Gibbs jumper at the 3:49 mark of the third and ended with a Ryan Rossiter jumper with 6:45 left in the game. The run put the Brex ahead 64-56.

Gibbs led the hosts with 24 points. Yusuke Endo scored 15 and Rossiter added 14 points and nine rebounds. Endo and Makoto Hiejima both made four steals.

Nick Fazekas had 32 points and 11 boards for the Brave Thunders (28-9). Jordan Heath scored 14 points and corralled 13 rebounds, while Naoto Tsuji, who was held to two points on 1-for-10 shooting, dished out eight assists.

SeaHorses 100, Levanga 92

In Sapporo, J.R. Sakuragi’s 25-point, seven-rebound, nine-assist effort and Takuya Kawamura’s 23 points sparked Mikawa in a bounce-back win over the hosts.

Davante Gardner added 19 points for the SeaHorses (17-20), who converted 22 of 29 free throws.

Kennedy Meeks had team-high totals in points (34) and rebounds (14) for Hokkaido (13-24). Markeith Cummings and Tsukasa Nakano added 24 and 18 points, respectively.

Grouses 74, Golden Kings 60

In Tomigusuku, Okinawa Prefecture, Leo Lyons helped propel Toyama past Ryukyu with a 21-point effort.

Isaac Butts contributed a double-double (16 points, 11 rebounds) along with five assists (matching Lyons’ team-high total) and four blocks. Naoki Uto scored 14 points for the Grouses (15-22), who lost the weekend opener by 18 points.

Jack Cooley had 25 points and 13 rebounds for the Golden Kings (23-13). Ryuichi Kishimoto finished with 18 points and De’Mon Brooks doled out seven assists.

Albirex BB 93, Susanoo Magic 82

In Matsue, Shimane Prefecture, Niigata received potent offensive production from forwards Nick Perkins and Lamont Hamilton and guard Kei Igarashi to earn a split of its weekend series.

Perkins led the Albirex (13-24) with 31 points, Igarashi connected on 5 of 10 from 3-point range in a 25-point effort and Hamilton supplied 19 points and 13 boards.

For Shimane (11-26), Brian Qvale was the high scorer with 21 points.

Sunrockers 85, Hannaryz 68

In Kyoto, Sebastian Saiz and Charles Jackson, two key offseason acquisitions for Shibuya, combined for 31 rebounds and set the tone for the team’s inside domination against the Hannaryz en route to a second win in as many days.

Saiz scored a team-best 25 points and snared 16 rebounds. Jackson had 16 points and 15 boards. Yusei Sugiura chipped in with 10 points for the Sunrockers (25-12), who outrebounded Kyoto 48-30.

For the Hannaryz (18-19), David Simon had 26 points and nine rebounds. Julian Mavunga scored 20 points and registered seven assists while also turning the ball over eight times. Keijuro Matsui poured in 16 points, including four 3s. Seven Kyoto players failed to score.

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