Geraldton Buccaneers stamp their authority on NBL1 West in perfect Perth weekend

Headshot of Jake Santa Maria
Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
The Buccs' Malik Meunier dunks it.
Camera IconThe Buccs' Malik Meunier dunks it. Credit: Barry Mitchell/Snapaction/RegionalHUB

Geraldton Buccaneers had a perfect weekend winning their two games including beating the second-placed Wolves to stamp their authority back on top of the competition.

They first faced last year’s premiers the Perry Lakes Hawks on Saturday and dismantled them 110-77 at Bendat Basketball Centre.

Perry Lakes were coming off a tough loss against Rockingham on Friday night to open round 14 in a grand final rematch. Geraldton arrived to start a big road weekend needing to keep winning to maintain their hold on top spot.

The Buccs did not need much time to work their way on top and by quarter-time the 2019 champions and current league-leaders led the reigning title winners 30-23 by the end of one.

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The efficiency problems that plagued them last weekend seemed a distant memory as they shot above 80 per cent from inside the paint almost double that of the Hawks’.

Geraldton pulled away further in the second quarter by opening up a 16-point lead and going on to lead 61-47 by the half-time break.

The Buccs were keeping the Hawks at arm’s length but they sprinted away to kill the game in the third, holding the Hawks to just nine points in the third quarter and grabbing 23 themselves to grow their lead to as much as 28 points.

They did not let up in the final period pushing the lead further to 38 points in one of the best performances of the season.

The Buccs’ big three were immense once again as Cameron Coleman delivered 25 points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals while Shaun Stewart added 20 points and four assists, and Malik Meunier 18 points, three boards, three assists and two steals.

Matt Leary top-scored for Perry Lakes with 20 points, four rebounds and three steals, but the Buccs had the better running all night coupled with an overall shooting percentage above 50.

The Sunday game was a finals preview as the Buccs took on the second-placed Joondalup Wolves.

The Buccs again jumped out to an early lead after a hot start shooting above 57 per cent from beyond the arc as they took a 10-point lead at the first change.

But the Wolfpack fought their way back into the contest winning the second period and closing the gap to within three points midway through the third quarter as the efficiency dried up for the Buccs shooting below 40 per cent.

However, they rediscovered their mojo at the right time to outrun the Wolves in a 91-78 victory.

Playing their second game in two days saw some different faces step up as Johny Narkle led the way with 24 points and five rebounds, while Coleman had another great game sinking 22 points in an outstanding weekend and Mathiang Muo impressed back on the court since finishing up his national duties.

The wins put the Buccs two games clear of the Rockingham Flames in second as the Wolves drop to third.

The Buccs will be back at home this weekend against the Hawks who will be looking for some quick revenge to keep their season alive.

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