A sea of red and white greeted the American players as they took the court for their quarter-final against the Japan side – the home team being ready to disprove the predictions and take the reigning champions off the court with the help of their home team.
The game was pretty balanced for the first two quarters – USA maintaining a small, 8-point lead as they went into the 2nd half, their opponents exploiting a suffocating defense and great shooting skills from Ren Inoue (Tosa Inu, G) to stay in the game. Scoonie Barrett (Otter, F/C) was decidedly sluggish – the big lutrine going 1-in-11 from the field, his defensive game being equally uninspired – while Leon Delmont (Cougar, G) and Narkissa Kassius (Ringtail Lemur, G) kept up their rather good partnership, slightly outmatching the opposing backcourt of Inoue and Shirley Takamoto (Jaguar, F/G) by scoring 35 points together against the 33 from the Japanese duo.
Unfortunately, the Japanese were never able to make a strong run – ultimately succumbing to the experience of Team USA as they went into foul trouble and conceded them tons of opportunities from the line. Despite a late fouling out from Zack Tate (Zorilla, C), the Americans held on to their lead on their way to winning 105-90, earning a spot in the semifinals against the winner of the Great Britain – South Korea match-up.
-I. Grammel, FurryOlympics.com