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Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011

Joho's 33-point effort leads Grouses past Big Bulls

Staff writer

Three former Tokyo Apache standouts — Masashi Joho, Cohey Aoki and Jumpei Nakama — had prominent roles in their teams' Saturday victories as highlighted below.

Joho, who has played in four bj-league championship games (two for the Osaka Evessa and two for on-hiatus Tokyo), had what's believed to be a career-best 33-point outburst for the Toyama Grouses in an 88-79 home win over the expansion Iwate Big Bulls.

Joho was 10-for-18 from 2-point range and 4-for-5 from beyond the 3-point arc in an electrifying performance for the Grouses, who improved to 3-4. Toyama has never had a winning season in its previous five campaigns.

Big man Devin Searcy had a double-double (15 points, 11 rebounds), Haakim Johnson and Brian Harper had 11 points apiece and Takeshi Mito finished with eight points in Kamiichimachi, Toyama Prefecture.

Thomas Kennedy paced Iwate (1-6) with 33 points and Shin Jae Rok chipped in with 11 points.

Evessa 85, Hannaryz 82

In Kyoto, Osaka guard Cohey Aoki scored a game-high 26 points and flushed 6 of 8 3-point shots to help his team improve to 6-1, the best record in the Western Conference.

Two-time MVP Lynn Washington contributed 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists for the Evessa, while Lawrence Blackledge stuffed the stat sheet with 13 points, 14 rebounds, six assists, three blocked shots and two steals.

For the Hannaryz (3-4), Jermaine Boyette had a team-best 22 points, while Lee Cummard poured in 15 points and Rick Rickert had 14. Kyosuke Setoyama finished with 10 points for the hosts.

Susanoo Magic 103, Lakestars 77

In Otsu, Shiga Prefecture, Jumpei Nakama and Michael Parker scored 19 points apiece as Shimane ended the hosts' five-game winning streak.

Parker had 17 rebounds, five assists, two steals and one blocked shot while coach Zeljko Pavlicevic served a one-game suspension for his comments about league officials last Sunday.

The Magic improved to 5-2. B.J. Puckett poured in 18 points, Reggie Golson had 13 and Jeral Davis 12 for Shimane, while Edward Yamamoto dished out nine assists.

Three-time All-Star Julius Ashby, also an ex-Aapche, paced the Lakestars (5-2) with 25 points and 16 rebounds. Yu Okada added 14 points for Shiga.

Northern Happinets 75, Jets 62

In Akita, Michael Gardener had 27 points, six rebounds and five assists and Stanley Ocitti had 13 points as the Happinets improved to 6-1, the best record in the Eastern Conference.

Gardener scored nine points in the fourth quarter as Akita held its own against Chiba (5-2).

Kazuhiro Shoji and Yuki Kikuchi each scored nine points for the Happinets.

The expansion Jets shot 21-for-75 from the field and 9-for-21 at the free-throw line. Jamel Staten paced Chiba with 23 points and 16 rebounds and Maurice Hargrow scored 11 points.

"Poor night shooting again," were the words Jets coach Eric Gardow used to described his team's defeat. "This time, the difference was we relaxed our defensive assignments in the game and they had a couple of runs that got away from us.

"(On offense), we got great looks inside and out," Gardow added, "and simply did not convert."

After facing Akita, led by first-year coach Kazuo Nakamura, for the first time, Gardow summed up the experience this way: "Akita's biggest strength is their coach and how he manages his players throughout the game and keeping them disciplined within the system."

Golden Kings 96, Broncos 75

In Tokorozawa, Saitama Prefecture, six Ryukyu players scored in double figures in a rout over the hosts.

Naoto Kosuge and Reggie Okosa each scored 17 points and Dzaflo Larkai and Narito Namizato had 14 apiece for the Golden Kings. Anthony McHenry added 13 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for the Golden Kings (5-2).

Ryukyu converted 28 of 31 free-throw attempts in the one-sided win. Namizato registered six assists.

John Humphrey had a team-high 27 points for Saitama and teammate John Flowers scored 19. The Broncos fell to 3-4.

Rizing 92, HeatDevils 79

In Oita, Carlos Dixon led Fukuoka with 23 points and Kevin Palmer added 17 points and five steals in a win over the hosts.

Forward Gary Hamilton finished with 16 points and 11 boards, and Akitomo Takeno and former Apache guard Jun Nakanishi scored 13 points apiece. Takeno also had eight assists for the Rizing (3-4).

For the HeatDevils (3-4), ex-MVP Wendell White had a team-best 21 points and 13 rebounds and T.J. Cummings scored 17. Oita was 6-for-25 on 3-point shots. Naoto Takushi handed out seven assists.

89ers 87, Brave Warriors 85

In Matsumoto, Nagano Prefecture, O'Neal Mims made a game-winning shot in the final second as Sendai edged Shinshu and ended a three-game losing streak.

Mims had a team-high 23 points and 13 rebounds for the 89ers (4-3). Johnny Dukes scored 21 points, seven rebounds and six assists, while Dan Fitzgerald had 20 points and Takehiko Shimura added 12.

The game was tied 85-85 on a Brave Warriors' Derek Raivio bucket before the 89ers got the ball back with an opportunity to win the contest on their final possession.

"Even with 1 second left, there's a chance to win it if you trust your teammates and execute," Sendai coach Bob Pierce said after the game, citing Dukes' pass to Mims for the winning basket.

The 89ers made 9 of 18 3-pointers, including Fitzgerald's 5-for-8, and held a 47-38 edge in rebounds, making up for their 12-for-22 effort at the charity stripe.

For Shinshu (4-3), Raivio was the top scorer with 23 points and Lee Roberts had a 16-point, nine-rebound outing.

Phoenix 82, B-Corsairs 67

In Toyohashi, Aichi Prefecture, Wayne Arnold sank five 3-points and scored 21 points and Jermaine Dixon added 14 points as Hamamatsu Higashimikawa defeated visiting Yokohama.

Former Final Four MVP Masahiro Oguchi was 4-for-5 from beyond the 3-point arc and finished with 13 points for the Phoenix (3-4).

Rookie forward Justin Burrell led the B-Corsairs (4-5) with 19 points and 14 rebounds and Chas McFarland had 13 points and 12 boards. Kenji Yamada finished with nine points and four assists.

Shining Suns 85, Five Arrows 66

In Takamatsu, Taishiro Shimizu and Darryl Dora scored 18 points apiece as Miyazaki collected its first win of the season.

Shimizu had a game-best seven assists. Dora hauled in 19 rebounds and made six assists and the Shining Suns (1-6) left Takamatsu (0-7) as the league's lone team still without a victory.

Nyika Williams led the Five Arrows with 12 points.

Takamatsu trailed 20-8 after one quarter en route to another loss under first-year coach Kenzo Maeda.

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