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Newton shines in Ryukyu Golden Kings twin wins

Date Posted: 2009-03-20

Jeff Newton scored 24 points and 13 rebounds Saturday, then added 16 points and another 13 rebounds Sunday as the Ryukyu Golden Kings picked up another pair of Basketball Japan League victories.

The red hot Okinawa squad whipped the Toyama Grouses 79-69 Saturday, then squeaked out an 82-81 win on Sunday against the hapless Grouses, who fall to 10-30 on the season. Anthony McHenry joined Newton in causing the Grouses to appear in disarray, scoring 20 points of his own Saturday, while hauling in 18 rebounds en route to Okinawa’s 30th win in 39 games.

The Tokyo Apache and Takamatsu Five Arrows split a pair on the road, winning convincingly Saturday, 89-75, only to fall 91-83 on Sunday. Rashid Sparks was the playmaker for the Five Arrows all weekend, scoring 16 points Saturday and tallying seven key assists on Sunday. Dameion Baker kept the 25-15 Apache in the fray Sunday, despite the loss, with a game-high 27 points.

Rizing Fukuoka split a pair on the home hardwoods, defeating the visiting Saitama Broncos 84-78 on Saturday, only to fall 75-72 on Sunday. Michael Parker poured in 40 points for Rizing Fukuoka Saturday, well above his 27-point average, while adding more than a dozen rebounds. He almost matched that performance Sunday, dumping in 36 points for Rizing Fukuoka. Akitomo Takeno was the attention-getter for the Niigata Albirex, hitting four three-pointers Sunday as the Niigata Albirex BB made it a two-game sweep f the Oita HeatDevils. Niigata won a thriller, 94-92, on Saturday, then kept the excitement alive on the road as they picked up Sunday’s 86-81 win.

The Sendai 89ers brought their season record to 21-19 with a home court split with the Osaka Evessa. Sendai won 89-86 Saturday in a down-to-the-wire win on a three-point shot by Josh Peppers with only 11 seconds to go. Osaka, not to be outdone, fired back Sunday, winning 106-96 on the strength of performances by Nile Murry and Lynn Washington. Murry led the 24-16 Evessa to Sunday’s win, scoring 23 points to match his Saturday scoring effort. Osaka remains in third place in the Western Conference behind league leading Okinawa Ryukyu Golden Kings and the Takamatsu Five Arrows.

The Shiga Lakestars, who fell Saturday during an 81-65 drubbing by the Hamamatsu Higashimikawa Phoenix, fired back Sunday with some impressive moves of its own, eeking out a 75-73 win. The Lakestars one of the league’s expansion teams, still has a chance to outdistance Fukuoka to pick up the fourth playoff spot in the Western Conference despite its 15-25 record.

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