Parks, Nagoya overcome stubborn Shimane for 9th straight win

Camille B. Naredo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 02 2022 03:23 PM

Ray Parks and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins continue their winning ways in the B.League. (c) B.LEAGUE
Ray Parks and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins continue their winning ways in the B.League. (c) B.LEAGUE

Ray Parks Jr. scored 15 points in another solid outing, as the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins stood strong down the stretch against a stubborn Shimane team for a 91-76 triumph, Sunday at the Matsue City Gymnasium.

Five players scored in double-digits for the visiting Diamond Dolphins, but head coach Shawn Dennis was most pleased with their defense as they limited Shimane to just 76 points on 37% shooting from the field.

Scott Eatherton had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead Nagoya, and Coty Clarke added 14 points. Parks made seven of his 10 shots for 15 points on top of five rebounds and four assists, as well as a bevy of hustle plays.

"I thought we started off poorly," said Dennis. "But as the game wore on, we were able to do a good job from a defensive perspective."

"To keep Shimane to 76 points is an outstanding defensive effort," he added.

The Diamond Dolphins have now won nine consecutive games, hiking their record to 18-7 to break a tie with Shimane for second place in the West District of the B.League. Incidentally, their last loss was against the Magic on December 5, a 94-86 result.

The hosts were within striking distance for most of the game, and trailed by just four points, 67-63, with still eight minutes to play off two free throws by Reid Travis. But Nagoya got buckets from Clarke and Eatherton, and Parks restored a 10-point lead off a jumper with under five minutes to go.

Parks later assisted on a Yusuke Karino triple and added another bucket that gave the Dolphins an 83-71 lead with three minutes to go. A triple by Ryosuke Shirahama gave Shimane a glimmer of hope as they cut the lead to 11, 85-74, with 2:11 left, but Parks tipped in a miss by Clarke in the next Nagoya possession to slam the door on the Magic.

"We were able to match their physicality tonight," Eatherton said of the game.

Travis finished with 21 points, shooting 12-of-14 at the line for Shimane. Perrin Buford had 13 points, six rebounds, and four assists off the bench.

The two teams meet again Monday, still at the Matsue City Gymnasium.