Geraldton Buccaneers continue home dominance with win over Lakeside Lightning

Headshot of Jake Santa Maria
Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Malik Meunier had another double double with 20 points and 12 assists.
Camera IconMalik Meunier had another double double with 20 points and 12 assists. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

After last round’s Thriller, this weekend was more Beat It as the Buccs continued to boss their home court with a 101-86 win over Lakeside Lightning.

It was always going to be tough to match last week but it shouldn’t take away from what was for the most part a clinical performance from the Buccs.

The Buccs have been unstoppable at home and welcomed back Zac Gattorna from NBL trials while the Lightning were looking for a big scalp after back-to-back wins over lesser opponents.

After the opening exchanges as both teams shot well from the line the Buccs shot out to a 10-point lead off back-to-back steals from Malik Meunier and shooting at nearly 80 per cent from inside the paint.

Liam Hunt sent a scare through the crowd when he went down and was subbed off clutching his knee but he would later return in an otherwise steady opening quarter.

The Buccs led 29-21 by quarter-time before adding another 27 points to 21 in the second period to go into the half-time interval on top 56-42.

Lightning were just about holding up well enough to never be out of the contest, fighting back from an 18-point deficit early in the second but the Buccs were always keeping them at arm’s length exemplified by Shaun Stewart finding a three on the half-time buzzer to counter Rowan Mackenzie’s effort at the other end.

However, about halfway through the third quarter, the lower intensity feeling of the clash seemed to seep into the Buccs players as their shooting percentage dropped to under 35 per cent across the court.

A series of fouls and missed shots saw the Lightning close to within eight points on the back of Josh Davey who finished with 15 points.

However, Buccs coach Dayle Joseph got the response he wanted to start the fourth with Liam Hunt and Shaun Stewart making tough baskets as their defence switched back on to keep Lightning scoreless for almost three minutes as the Buccs restored a 17-point advantage.

The Buccs went on to win by 15 points to make it 6-0 on their home court this season and three straight wins to improve them to 8-3 overall.

With the Hawks and Flames both losing at the weekend the Buccs are two games outside of top spot.

Liam Hunt continued his supreme form with 23 points, nine rebounds, three blocks and two assists on the back of 9/10 shooting.

Shaun Stewart added 21 points and three assists while Malik Meunier had another double-double with 20 points, 12 assists, seven rebounds and three steals, and Johny Narkle had 17 points, five boards, five steals, three assists and two blocked shots.

The Buccs will next feature in an all-country clash as they travel to Kalgoorlie to take on the Goldfield Giants on Sunday.

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