Geraldton has finally broken through for a State title at the Basketball WA Country Championships as the under-14 boys produced a stunning second-half comeback to take gold. The squad, coached by Dan Hunt, started their tournament with a hat-trick of wins and despite a two-point loss to Busselton they finished first in the group standings to make the first semi-final against Mandurah. The Buccs burst out the blocks with Max Smith nailing a rare three-pointer to have them up by four points at the half. The second half saw plenty of “nails being chewed” as Mandurah fought back to close within two points in the dying moments, however Geraldton would not be denied to win 25-23. They faced Bunbury in the final and were put under pressure early by Zenon Parsons who was the tournament’s top scorer with 30 points more than next-best Geraldton’s Jesse Owen. It looked as if Geraldton were going be runners-up once again at the championships but an inspired second-half flipped the game on its head. Scores were locked with two minutes to go before an 8-0 run from the Buccs broke the game open. Allen Griechen led the way with eight points but it was a team effort with five players getting five or more points in a monster 26-point half, to run away 34-26 winners. Roy Verbe was named MVP, showing nerves of steel to sink three points from the stripe and finish with seven points overall. The under-15 girls were also in action at the weekend and had a mixed Saturday with a 2-1 record. They had wins over Esperance and Karratha either side of a two-point loss to Albany. But wins over Bunbury and Busselton saw them finish second in their pool and a rematch with Karratha in the semi-final. The teams traded baskets to start but a 6-0 run to Karratha put the Buccs behind the eight-ball and they trailed by three points at the half despite six points for Sophia Pigdon. Geraldton fought back with Taylor Mincherton tying the game up from the line with less than two minutes to go. But the final basket would fall Karratha’s way as they gained revenge for their pool stage loss 27-25. Pigdon finished as the standout performer for the Buccs with 48 points across the carnival finishing third on the charts. The under-18 girls also made it to a semi-final overcoming a first-round loss to Australind to go undefeated through the rest of their group games though they did draw 23-all with Harvey. They beat Pinjarra by two points in their final pool match and faced them just hours later in the semi-final. Geraldton found themselves down by six points early in the half before a three from Millie Gerreyn kept the Buccs in the game. They needed a good start to the second half but instead, Pinjarra scored six of the first seven points to leave the girls with too much work to do going down 26-22. Holly Baynes and Gerreyn finished with seven points each while Lucy Yokwe had five but they couldn’t find enough from the bench. Gerreyn and Baynes both finished inside the top five tournament scorers with 59 and 47 respectively. The under-14 division two boys had a mixed weekend finishing with a 3-3 record to miss out on finals.