Geraldton Buccaneers go three in a row as Malik Meunier and Zac Gattorna help put out Suns

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Zac Gattorna dunks over the Suns' Akau Deng.
Camera IconZac Gattorna dunks over the Suns' Akau Deng. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

The Geraldton Buccaneers put on a defensive masterclass as they smashed the Eastern Suns 97-63 to make it three wins in a row.

With both teams coming in with a 3-2 record the clash was a big opportunity for them to solidify their place in the top four and it was the Suns who started hot on Saturday night.

The Buccs missed their first six shots as the Suns enjoyed a 9-1 lead before Anzac medal winner Fletcher Klasztorny got the Buccs rolling to close the gap to three.

Former Buccs coach Aaron Trahair would have enjoyed the start of his return to Active West Stadium as the Suns five out game plan was stretching the Buccs’ defence as threes were starting to hurt.

But the Buccs tightened up in the closing stages as Zac Gattorna got his way to the rim and they started to control the ball more winning offensive rebounds to trail by only one point at quarter time.

However, the tight opening quarter belied what was to come as the Buccs dominated the rest of the game, restricting the Suns to just nine points in the second quarter as the Buccs made hay.

Ryan Blanchett played his best quarter of the year while Gattorna and Malik Meunier were dropping points regularly as the Suns had no answers.

The Buccs outscored the Suns 80 to 45 after quarter-time on their home floor to end up winning by 34 points.

Meunier was once again impressive finishing with 18 points and five rebounds on 8/13 shooting while also delivering a game-high nine assists.

Gattorna added 17 points and six rebounds, Fletcher Klasztorny 11 points and five boards, while Tomas Dobson played his first minutes after returning from the prospects tour in the US and gobbled up 10 points in just five minutes of court time.

The only concern for the Buccs was a rib hit to Klasztorny which saw him finish the night on the bench wrapped in ice.

Other than that it was a near-perfect three-quarters for the Buccs who move to 4-2 to remain in fourth.

Gattorna said it felt a readjustment after quarter time was the key to their dominance thereafter.

“We went over the scout and we weren’t really doing what we wanted to do in terms of switching screens, switching handoffs, doing a job on (Joe) Cook-Green and (Albert) Almanza from the three,” he said.

“So we switched that up and changed a few things and it just worked.”

“I felt really good we finally got our feet underneath us as a defensive unit so it was really good, the Suns probably didn’t play their best game, but now it’s good for us to get that win at home to make sure we defend our home court.”

The Buccs will now prepare for a double road trip against Mandurah Magic and Perry Lake Hawks next weekend.

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