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Geraldton Buccaneers hope to turn around form against top teams with key Willetton Tigers clash

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Fletcher Klasztorny goes for the basket.
Camera IconFletcher Klasztorny goes for the basket. Credit: Arctic_Moon_Photography

After another road trip in which they split results the Buccs return home this weekend with another huge task ahead of them as they face the third-placed Willetton Tigers.

The Buccs won six out of the eight quarters across their two games on the weekend but a costly last quarter against the Hawks, when they were outscored 22-7, saw them unable to claim back-to-back road wins.

Coach Dayle Joseph said the loss was a missed opportunity for the side to get clear of the midfield.

“We probably played better against the Hawks than we did against Mandurah as far as you know, the way we wanted to play and our particularly our defence I thought we did a really good job,” he said.

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“We had a hands-on, we just, we couldn’t score, we turned it over a couple of times as well which is not uncommon whether it was fatigue from the two previous games, or whatever, I’m not sure.

“We lost Shaun Stewart, Harry Evans and Robert Greichen before the game, (it) ended hurting our depth on the bench and we probably could have used them at some point to give a couple of guys some rest.”

Joseph said Stewart has been battling soreness but was hopeful he will be right for the weekend.

“He probably needs rest to get rid of the soreness it’s not doing any harm playing him but we’re trying to try to fix it early rather than have it as a lingering issue for later in the season, hopefully, he’ll be right for this weekend.,” he said.

The loss saw the Buccs slip to fifth on the ladder and have yet to beat a side in the top six this season from three attempts.

It will be a stat they hope to turn around with two huge upcoming home games against the Tigers this weekend and the ladder-leading and so far unbeaten Rockingham Flames on May 20.

The Tigers are coming off their own split weekend going down in a thriller to Joondalup 106-105 before overcoming a spirited East Perth Eagles 100-91.

Their key weapons will be US import point guard Darnell Hoskins leading the team in points with 23ppg and Brisbane Bullets centre Gorjok Gak.

“I think I’m starting to get through to the guys a little bit that the defence is the real key to us succeeding in what we want to do,” Joseph said.

“Hoskins is a high-quality import and Gak is a high-quality NBL player, they’ve got Worthington and as much as he’s aged on a little bit he’s still as fit as anything and contributing in a way that others, you know, others wish they could.

“If you’re going to be sort of a middle-of-the-road team, for the time being, every game is going to be a challenge it makes them all very important.”

The Buccs will tip off against the Tigers at Activewest Stadium at 7pm on May 13.

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