Geraldton Buccaneers sweep final road challenge against Lakeside Lightning and Joondalup Wolves

Headshot of Fraser Williams
Fraser WilliamsGeraldton Guardian
Johny Narkle and Junior Garbrah celebrate a basket in the win against Lakeside Lightning.
Camera IconJohny Narkle and Junior Garbrah celebrate a basket in the win against Lakeside Lightning. Credit: Rachel Bolton/Rachel Bolton

The Geraldton Buccaneers brought home another double delight after sweeping their final road double-header with wins against Lakeside Lightning and Joondalup Wolves.

In their Saturday clash against Lakeside, a one-point game late quickly became a Geraldton victory when the Buccaneers turned on the burners to take the 100-93 win.

Since Johny Narkle returned to the side from injury, the Buccaneers have found stability with their lineup that seen success with Nik DeSantis, Josh Braun, Josh Keyes, Liam Hunt and Narkle as the starting five.

Despite being a side that is out of the playoff race, the Lightning did not roll over in the match and pushed the Buccaneers into the final quarter.

The home team had the jump early, as they scored six unanswered points for an early lead, but Narkle drew a late foul to help reclaim the advantage at the first quarter break.

The match remained tight, with the Buccaneers having just the slight edge in the second and third quarters but it was still anyone’s game to be one.

Geraldton had the four-point lead coming out of three-quarter time, but the Lightning made a late push in the fourth.

As they cut the margin down to 76-75 with just under six minutes let to play.

Like the Buccs have all season, they were able to turn it around late with a scoring run with Narkle and Braun going back-to-back with bank threes.

Dominic Jackson for Lakeside responded with a three of his own, but Aaron Ralph went down the court and pulled up for a bomb to make it a nine-point game.

Braun was sent to the line in consecutive possessions, sinking all four frees to close out the seven-point victory.

After running out his first full week of training since arriving in Geraldton, Braun stepped up to lead the side in scoring during the win. Dropping 24 points of six three’s, with five rebounds and three assists.

DeSantis added 23 points, three rebounds and five assists, Narkle was everywhere with 20 points, four rebounds, three assists, three steals and four blocks.

Coming off the bench, Ralph had 16 points and four rebounds during the win.

On to their next match, a second quarter masterclass let the Buccaneers blow by the Joondalup Wolves in the grand final rematch 89-72.

On a six-game winning streak and looking for redemption at home, Joondalup had everything to play for.

They came out looking determined to be the team that would take down the Buccaneers, with an 11-point run in the first giving them the advantage.

The travelling Geraldton side stayed within arm’s reach but Joondalup took the seven-point lead and momentum into the first quarter break.

The second quarter is when the Buccaneers put the hammer down and took over the match, with Junior Garbrah coming out early to score in traffic and draw the foul.

It was the Narkle show in the second, with the grand final MVP proving too much for the Wolves once again with 17-points in the quarter as Geraldton outscored Joondalup 39-13 in the term.

From there it was Geraldton’s match to lose, with the side extending their lead to as much as 22-points, with the road team going on to win by 17.

Narkle flooded the stat sheet again, proving to be versatile with his game, with 23 points, nine rebounds, one assist, two steals and a block.

All five of the Buccs starters scored double-digit points during the win, with DeSantis having 19 points and 11 assists, Keyes with 10 points and 10 rebounds, Braun added 15 points and Hunt had 13 to his name.

With just three games left in their season, Geraldton have already clinched a top two finish which will be pivitol come finals time.

They continue to hold the top of the table with their commanding 18-1 record, and now sit three games clear of the second placed Willetton Tigers who lost on the weekend.

The Buccaneers are back home this weekend when they will host the Rockingham Flames at Activewest Stadium on Saturday, July 6.

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