Buccs take down Senators, Flames

Headshot of Justin Fris
Justin FrisGeraldton Guardian
Buccs player Aaron Ralph (in possession) was victorious in his 350th SBL game.
Camera IconBuccs player Aaron Ralph (in possession) was victorious in his 350th SBL game. Credit: Supplied, Arctic Moon Photography

The Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers (7-2) cemented themselves in second spot on the SBL table with two blue-chip road victories in Perth during round eight.

Ray Evans’ men took care of business against the Stirling Senators 88-82, before backing up their effort with a 99-63 beatdown of the Rockingham Flames.

It was a tough initiation early against the Senators, with the visitors struggling early with their outside shooting.

Trailing 42-40 at half-time, the Buccs had gone 2/11 (16 per cent) from beyond the arc, with shots simply not landing.

However, the tide turned in the second, with Evans lauding the efforts of his defence.

“We definitely weren’t at our best (in the first half) — whether that was a flow-on from last week,” he said.

“But the guys kept grinding away.

“We definitely weren’t shooting the ball as good as we could have. We missed some easy baskets. But our defence was pretty solid and we were hanging in there.

“It was just a matter of time until we got a couple of shots in to break the game open and once we got that lead, the guys took control of it and really grinded out the win.”

US import Colter Lasher top-scored with 24 points (along with four offensive and seven defensive rebounds).

Former Perth Wildcats recruit Earnest “EJ” Ross ended with 18 points (along with four offensive and 11 defensive rebounds) in his Buccs debut.

On Sunday, the Buccs travelled down Kwinana Freeway and doused the Flames from the outset.

Former Wildcats skipper Greg Hire was suffocated by the Buccs’ defence, going 0/4 from the field and 0/4 from beyond the arc, with his only two points coming via the charity stripe.

It was a memorable 350th SBL game for veteran Aaron Ralph, with Evans paying credit to his longevity.

“He’s the ultimate team player,” he said. “He’s had to play a lot of different roles over the years.

“I’ve been coaching along with other coaches. In some games, he’s one of our major scoring players on the offensive end and other games, he got to do a defensive job.

“He’s all about the team and adapting to the different roles within it.”

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