Geraldton Buccaneers fade in final stages as Lightning strike
They say the family who prays together stays together.
Judging by their words and actions in Geraldton on Saturday night, the saying could befit the Lakeside Lightning.
Inside the locker rooms, the Lightning said a short but sincere pre-game prayer. Then they stepped outside and strutted their stuff and within an hour, the scoreboard showed they had a come from behind 88-78 win.
For much of the gripping contest, their eyes and ears watched and listened to Geraldton Buccaneers’ fans making endless noise with their “happy clappers”.
But it didn’t deter the Lightning. In fact, it seemed to inspire them.
Their engaged bench became the “happy clappers”, jumping to their feet, giving high-fives and cheering their mates on as they got back in the game, and then ran away with it.
It was the second time in the past three visits north in which the Lightning have left with the points, this result lifting them to equal third on the table with the Buccs, who dropped a position.
With 2min 34sec left, the game was tied at 78 points.
Then Lightning struck, again and again.
“This is going to be a noisy trip home,” Carl Parkhouse, the bus driver for the Lightning team, said as he watched the closing seconds.
“Twenty-three of us came here and I brought the big bus so they can stretch out.”
The Buccs led 41-33 at the main break but trailed by two points at the final turn, after being outscored 25-15 in the third term.
The Buccs went on a 12-0 offensive run to open the final term.
However, changes were in the wind, and Lightning won the final seven minutes, 30-10.
Jobi Wall seemed to drop three-pointers at will, he and Michael Vigor getting 45 of Lightning’s 88 points.
The second half fall-away of the Buccs and the reaction of import Deangelo Isby after being ejected from centrestage are the main concerns for coaching staff before taking to the road to play the Flames and Redbacks this weekend.
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