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Geraldton Buccaneers score double away win to secure second spot and home finals

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
Shaun Stewart showed no signs of soreness on Saturday
Camera IconShaun Stewart showed no signs of soreness on Saturday Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

It was the perfect time to buck their road trend as the Geraldton Buccaneers secured a home final with two wins on the road and got one over their qualifying final opponents.

The Buccs had already secured second place on Friday night after a dominant win over the East Perth Eagles 115-96.

They exploded out the gates with 34 points in the first quarter and led by 17 at half-time led by the big three for the Buccs this season with Zac Gattorna, Malik Meunier and Shaun Stewart all recording 20 or more points.

With Perry Lakes losing to the Wolves on the same night the home final was now secure.

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But the Buccs had no thoughts of taking it easy with the Tigers, who also won on Friday securing third, meaning the two will meet again this weekend in the qualifying final.

The Buccs drew first blood prevailing 89-81 at Willetton Basketball Stadium.

Willetton got the better of the start, opening up a 14-point lead in the opening quarter as it looked like the curse of the Buccs’ road form would continue.

But the Buccaneers grew into the contest by scoring 13 straight points to end up with 25 points to nine from Willetton for the quarter to go into the half-time break leading 49-41.

Stewart and Johny Narkle combined to dish out most of the punishment while they put up arguably their best defensive show for the season.

Geraldton would maintain that advantage through most of the second half including leading by as much as 12 in the fourth stanza on their way to the eventual eight-point win.

Gattorna once again led the charge in the win for the Buccaneers with 22 points, five rebounds and four assists with Narkle contributing 12 points, nine boards and three assists, and Stewart 13 points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Malik Meunier also had 11 points, six assists and three rebounds, Aaron Ralph 11 points and five boards, and Liam Hunt 10 points, six rebounds and two assists.

The Buccs will meet Willeton again this Saturday on their home deck in the qualifying final and if they can maintain their dominant home form will be in touching distance of a second straight grand final.

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