LONG BEACH.—The Akira Komai Memorial 2012 Nisei Athletic Union playoffs concluded Sunday at Rancho Dominguez Prep School with FOR Magic and Pacific Pride Quicksilver taking top honors in Aye Plus and AA.
Shooting a high percentage from the floor, FOR Magic whipped Bruin Young Guns, 87-72.
Darrin Nakauchi and Jeff Kiyomura finished off nice drives to start the game for Bruins. Those were the only bright spots for the top team from Aye Plus Gold.
Magic got hot. Justin Hayes penetrated for shots and Jordan Hiroshima put on a show, starting with a four-point play. Hiroshima added two more triples as FOR dropped in 18 consecutive points to lead, 18-4, 5 minutes into the game.
Young Guns increased their defensive pressure the rest of the game and forced Magic into turnovers. FOR countered with good ball movement for open shot attempts.
In the final 35 minutes of action, Bruins never got closer than nine points and were forced to foul. Down the stretch, Magic pulled away with free throws and layups.
Fast-starting Hiroshima finished with 21 points, 17 in the first half. Hays was a steady presence for Magic with 24 points on 12-for-18 shooting.
Scoring 19 unanswered points in the first half propelled Pacific Pride Quicksilver past Tigers Blue, 89-84.
This game matched the two most dominant teams in recent AA history. Tigers Blue were untouchable until Quicksilver supplanted them in the late 2000s.
Tigers Blue came into 2012 with a revamped roster and they roared at the outset of the finale 22-13.Michael Reding fired in four treys for the Cats.
Then the defending champs took over with their tsunami, Mark Nitake dropping in 10 of his total.
Tigers regained their balance but Pacific Pride matched them to the half, which closed at 44-33.
Quicksilver’s Paul Nitake and Anthony Davis kept Tigers at bay, the lead ranging from 11 to 16 points.
With 9 minutes left to play, Nic Echevestre and Mike Hamner rallied the Cats. By the 4:52 mark, Tigers closed the gap to 75-68.
Jarrod Carroll stepped up for Quicksilver, keeping Pride on top, but Echevestre’s baseline jumper and Hamner’s lay-in got Tigers close, 85-81.