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Buccaneers prepare to face old friend as Wolfpack comes to Geraldton

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Future captain? Fletcher Klasztorny impressed in taking over the reings last weekend
Camera IconFuture captain? Fletcher Klasztorny impressed in taking over the reings last weekend Credit: Travis Anderson/Photo: Travis Anderson

The Buccs are back at home and face a familiar foe this weekend as they welcome the Joondalup Wolves and former teammate Mathiang Muo to their home deck on Saturday.

The Buccs are flying high at the moment with four straight wins while the Wolves are coming off a loss to Perry Lakes to cap off a mixed month when they went 3-2.

But the last time these sides met the Wolves were six-point winners in a high-quality match and will have some familiarity with Activewest Staidum with Muo to play his first match in Geraldton since leaving the Buccs last year.

Muo has been impressive, averaging 17 points and five rebounds a game with Quinton Dove, averaging 27 points, and CJ Turnage, averaging 20, completing a dominant trio of forwards for the Wolfpack.

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However, despite the Wolves taking the honours last time, Buccs coach Dayle Joseph believes his squad has found its feet since their last meeting.

“We will probably look back a little bit on some things, but it was early in the season and we were still adapting a little bit when we played in week three,” he said.

“I felt we were probably still a little bit underprepared back and lacking a bit of match practice.

“I think we’ve adjusted a fair bit since then and I like to think we’re, better than we were back then as well and we’ll be looking more at their recent matches for what they’re likely to bring.”

Aaron Ralph did not travel to the Goldfields on the weekend but will return this week, however, in his absence, Fletcher Klasztorny was given the captaincy — a role that Joseph said he could fulfil on a more permanent basis in the future.

“He shows all those sorts of qualities as a leader both on and off the court and it was just an opportunity that arose to give him that responsibility,” he said.

“The obvious fill-in is Mat Wundenberg, he’s been captain and is a natural leader as well, we get 100 per cent out of Matt, whether he’s captain or not, but for Fletch, it was a reward for effort from previous weeks where he stepped up for us and he’s starting to see the fruits of putting in some extra work that has been done off the court as well.”

Joseph was impressed with what he saw in Klasztorny’s first game as captain.

“I think he thrived on it a little bit and he put up some really good numbers against the Giants and probably made a big difference for us,” he said.

While Ralph will return as captain, Buccs fans may see another familiar face around the court this weekend as Aidan Gardiner is spending some time back in Geraldton between college seasons.

“He’s been training with us, having someone you know, six foot nine and a local kid training with it’ll help a lot and with our preparation,” Joseph said.

“He’ll be playing in our second division side and who knows he may feature in our top side for a few games at some point.”

Buccs will tip off against the Wolves at 7pm on Saturday at Activewest Stadium.

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