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Sunday, Dec. 7, 2008
Five Arrows coast to victory over Grouses
By ED ODEVEN
After a bye last week, the energized Takamatsu Five Arrows revved up their high-octane offense on Saturday in Shikoku, picking up a 100-86 victory over the Toyama Grouses.
Gordon James led the way with 21 points and 16 rebounds for the Five Arrows, who improved to 9-4 and solidified their second-place spot in the bj-league's Western Conference.
Rasheed Sparks (16 points, eight rebounds, seven assists), Matt Garrison (14 points) and Yu Okada (12 points, 10 assists) also played pivotal roles for the victorious hosts.
Rodney Webb had 27 points for Toyama (3-10).
The Tokyo Apache also improved to 9-4, routing the host Oita HeatDevils 99-79. Nine Apache players registered both points and assists in the game, a sign of the team's depth this season.
Nick Davis was Tokyo's top scorer and rebounder with 21 points and 14 rebounds, followed by Julius Ashby's 19 points, John Humphrey's 18, Cohey Aoki's 12 and Masashi Joho's 11.
Jeffrey Price posted a double-double (21 points, 11 boards) for Oita, which slipped to 4-11.
Elsewhere, the host Saitama Broncos trounced the Osaka Evessa 83-66.
Reggie Warren was the game's top player, finishing with 33 points, 17 rebounds and five assists for Saitama (9-6). Daiki Terashita and Steve Horne each added 15 points apiece.
Nile Murry was the No. 1 scorer for Osaka (9-6) and Eric Walton added 13. Two-time MVP Lynn Washington, the league's second-leading scorer at 25.2 points per game, was held to a season-low 10 points.
The Shiga Lakestars earned a series split, topping the host Sendai 89ers 80-71. Bobby Nash's 19 points and 10 rebounds helped Shiga improve to 8-8. Ray Schafer (16 points), Ryan Rourke (13) and Yosuke Machida (11) had instrumental roles in the win, too.
Joe Barber scored a game-high 20 points for Sendai (8-8).
Michael Parker's 38-point, 17-rebound effort sparked the Rizing Fukuoka to an 82-77 road victory over the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix.
Marlyn Bryant and Toshiyuki Chijiiwa chipped in with 14 points apiece, while Tsuyoshi Kawazura handed out seven assists for Fukuoka coach John Neumann's club, which has won three of its last five games to improve to 6-9.
For Hamamatsu (6-9), Adam Zahn finished with a team-best 17 points, while Michael Gardener and newcomer Stanley Ocitti had 13 points apiece.
Led by Naoto Takushi's 16 points, the host Ryukyu Golden Kings snapped a two-game losing streak, beating the Niigata Albirex BB 88-80.
Anthony McHenry and Shigeyuki Kinjo added 14 points apiece for Ryukyu (12-3).
Dokun Akingbade paced the Albirex (4-9) with 29 points and 17 boards, while Akitomo Takeno had 16 points and six assists in defeat.
In other league news, the Phoenix announced Friday high-scoring forwards Andy Ellis and Josh Peppers have been waived. Ellis led the league in scoring with 25.1 ppg last season while playing for Oita, and Peppers had a 22.2-ppg average for Fukuoka in 2007-08.
Peppers, a former University of Central Florida standout, was Hamamatsu's leading scorer until last weekend, when a 42-point game by Gardener catapulted him to the top of the team's scoring charts (19.1 ppg through Nov. 30).
Peppers averaged 18.5 ppg in 11 games in 31 minutes per contest. Ellis was Hamamatsu's third-leading scorer (14.7 ppg) in the same span.