Buccs overpower Wolves, but fall to Hawks

Zoe Keenan and Justin FrisGeraldton Guardian
Buccs import Gokul Natesan powers his way into the paint.
Camera IconBuccs import Gokul Natesan powers his way into the paint. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

It was a rollercoaster weekend of emotions in Perth for the Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers.

After becoming the first team to defeat the Joondalup Wolves at HBF Arena on Saturday night, a frustrating second-quarter lapse resulted in a 97-73 loss to the Perry Lakes Hawks on Sunday afternoon.

In a hard-fought top-of-the-table clash, the Wolves started fast and moved the ball early. Struggling early with their outside shooting, the Buccs shot two from 11 and the Wolves managed multiple leads between seven and nine points in the first half.

The Buccs gradually worked their way into the game and always found a way to close the lead, shooting well inside.

In the final four minutes of the second quarter the Buccs took the lead, with their hustle and intensity bumping it to six points by half-time.

As the match wound its way to the closing stages, the visitors flipped the game on its ear and confidently took care of business against the Wolf Pack.

Colter Lasher had good form in the keyway and Aaron Ralph was well on the three-point line for the second half, with the visitors deserving 88-80 winners.

Post-game, Buccs head coach Ray Evans told the Guardian his side knew Wolves would come out fast after their 33-point loss to the Perth Redbacks on Friday, but he was impressed with his side’s ability to stick with them early on.

Evans said their rebounding and run as well as transitional offence was good against a quality team.

After building an eight-point quarter-time lead against the Hawks on Sunday, the Buccs were outscored 63-31 over the following two quarters en route to a disappointing loss.

Coupled with the host’s ability to make plays and hit the bucket, the visitors struggled offensively in the second quarter, where they were held scoreless for the opening 4min. 21sec. of the term.

Evans said he felt the team could have built on their early momentum had they sunk more of their shots, but as the Hawks gained momentum, the tide gradually turned.

Despite the Hawks loss, Evans said he was still upbeat about the Wolves result, given the Buccs are the only SBL team to defeat the league leaders both home and away this season.

Buccaneers assistant coach Aaron Ducas said the lapse in the second quarter was untimely, but paid credit to the Hawks’ ability to make plays with momentum at their backs.

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