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Sunday, Feb. 15, 2009

BJ-LEAGUE

Apache victorious in Baker's season debut


Staff writer

Veteran standouts John "Helicopter" Humphrey and Nick Davis gave the Tokyo Apache a big spark in their return to the lineup and forward Dameion Baker, who has had two previous stints on the team, made his season debut in a 96-72 rout of the visiting Toyama Grouses.

Tokyo (19-12) snapped a four-game losing streak.

Cohey Aoki scored a team-best 20 points for the Apache, while Baker had 19 and nine boards. Frontcourt mate Julius Ashby also put 18 points on the board and cleaned the glass for 10 rebounds.

Davis posted a double-double (12 points, 12 rebounds) and Humphrey chipped in with eight points.

Tokyo led 62-56 entering the final quarter and outscored Toyama 34-16 the rest of the way.

Baker, Davis and Ashby gave the Apache and explosive presence inside.

Ashby's thunderous dunk, which made it 85-70, in the waning moments put an emphatic exclamation point on the win.

Humphrey, who also ran the floor well and provided aggressive play at bot ends of the floor, missed four games due to a broken left wrist. Davis was sidelined for two weeks with a sprained left ankle.

Aoki and Darin Satoshi Maki both dished out five assists for the high-scoring Apache.

For the Grouses (9-22), Jerod Ward was the leading scorer with 24 points.

Toyama forward Terrence Woodyard had an 18-point, 11-rebound effort, Masayuki Kabaya added 16 points and Haruhito Shishito handed out eight assists in the loss.

Also Saturday, Reggie Warren's super all-around game sparked the visiting Saitama Broncos to an 88-69 win over the Sendai 89ers.

Warren finished with 35 points, 20 rebounds and eight assists.

Taishiro Shimizu had 13 points, five rebounds and five assists, while Steve Horne added 18 points as Saitama improved to 13-18.

The 89ers (15-16) trailed 49-28 at the half.

Pivotman Chris Holm had 15 points and 21 boards, Bobby St. Preux scored 17 and Kenichi Takahashi 10 for the hosts.

Elsewhere, Eric Walton scored 24 points, Naoto Nakamura poured in 22 and Lynn Washington had 21 to lead the Osake Evessa to a 101-89 win over the visiting Rizing Fukuoka.

Washington had 13 rebounds and shared the game-high output in assists (six) with teammate Nile Murry, who scored 11 points. Walton who had a season-high 25 points on Feb. 8, also pulled down 11 boards.

Nakamura had a season-high total in points, and backcourt mate Ryuichi Horikawa, who finished with 14 points, also had his highest-scoring game of the season.

Osaka improved to 20-11. Fukuoka dropped to 12-19 despite Michael Parker's 25-point, 19-rebound effort.

Marlyn Bryant (15 points), Kohei Mitomo (14) and Shawn Taylor (11) also scored in double-digits for John Neumann's club.

The Evessa, who led 71-66 after three quarters, pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Yukinori Suzuki drained a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute to lift the host Oita HeatDevils to a 73-69 win over the Shiga Lakestars.

It was a 67-67 game with 2:58 to play. The score remained the same until Suzuki shattered the deadlock with 53 seconds left.

After Shiga pulled within one, Suzuki clinched the win with another 3-pointer with 8 seconds remaining.

Leon Brisport paced Oita (6-25) with 18 points and 18 rebounds, while Jeffrey Price contributed 17 points.

The HeatDevils have beaten Shiga in three of their five meetings this season.

For the Lakestars (12-19), Ryan Rourke had a team-best 23 points. Teammate Bobby Nash, a former University of Hawaii player, scored 16 and Takamichi Fujiwara and Ray Schafer added 10 apiece.

The Takamatsu Five Arrows recorded their first win in five attempts against the Ryukyu Golden Kings this season, picking up an 85-70 home win. Takamatsu (22-9) also extended its winning streak to eight games.

The Five Arrows' previous four losses against Ryukyu were by a combined 13 points, including a pair of back-to-back one-point setbacks on Nov. 8-9.

Yu Okada pumped in a team-high 18 points for Takamatsu, which had six players reach double figures in points.

Kazuyuki Nakagawa and Matt Garrison both had 15-point games for the victors.

Since Nakagawa, who played for Takamatsu two seasons ago, rejoined the team, the Five Arrows are 7-0. His six rebounds and five assists, as well as a 3-for-4 performance from 3-point range, helped keep the streak alive on Saturday.

Shigeyuki Kinjo paced the Golden Kings (24-7) with 25 points.

Anthony McHenry added 14 points and 10 boards for Dai Oketani's club. Jeff Newton was held to a uncharacteristically poor 3-for-13 from the field and finished with a quiet 10 points.

Michael Gardener's 36 points helped the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix earn an 81-63 road win over the Niigata Albirex BB.

Hamamatsu raised its record to 20-11 on a night when Marcus Morrison scored 14 and Atsuya Ota had eight. Gardener, the league's top passer, led all players with five assists.

Calvin Chitwood had 16 points for Niigata (14-17). Yuichi Ikeda and Emmanuel Little had 13 apiece.



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