Hawks come out on top as Trades sharp-shoot their way to first win

Jake Santa MariaGeraldton Guardian
From teamates to rivals: Fletcher Klasztorny and Johny Narkle.
Camera IconFrom teamates to rivals: Fletcher Klasztorny and Johny Narkle. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

It was high-class action on display in the Geraldton Basketball Association as the Hawks and Olympians played out a high-scoring thriller.

The Hawks went to the top of the ladder after their 101-93 win as Buccs teammates Johny Narkle and Fletcher Klasztorny faced off in an entertaining battle.

Hawks went into the clash unbeaten on the back of a 40-point performance from Klazstorny, while Olympians were hoping to build on their first win over Chapman Valley last week.

The Octopuses jumped out to a 14-7 lead in the opening minutes on the back of Narkle’s sharp shooting but it wouldn’t last long, as the Hawks quickly closed the gap with Ryan Blanchett and Klasztorny combining once again to do the damage.

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It would set the tone for the night as the teams traded baskets.

It was made all the better that Klasztorny and Narkle played on each other most of the night and while they are Buccs teammates, all was fair in love and war as the two were locked in an epic battle.

But it was a battle Narkle was winning as the Olympians took a 48-45 lead into half-time on the back of his 25 points, which included five three-pointers.

He was the only member of his team to have cracked double figures, while Blanchett and Klasztorny both had 13 and Robert Griechen 12.

Fletcher Klasztorny gets some hangtime
Camera IconFletcher Klasztorny gets some hangtime Credit: Jake Santa Maria

The second half continued in the same manner as both teams continued to trade shots, with the two teams separated by just two points with five minutes to go.

But Griechen (25) was starting to impress himself on the game, bulldozing his way to the basket on more than one occasion to usurp Blanchett as the second Hawks’ option.

Justyce Potaka-Kumeroa (21) was firing for the Olympians but with the game heading towards the pointy end, the Octupuses found themselves in foul trouble.

They sent the Hawks to the line and were punished, allowing them to open up a break.

They had a 10-point lead with 1:30 to go and were happy to play for time. The Olympians were still in it with 40 seconds to go and trailing by six, but they couldn’t find the threes as they went down by eight points.

Narkle did all he could for his side with a massive 41 points, including 10 three-pointers — just one less than the Hawks managed as a team.

Klasztorny finished with 34 points, which is what he’s averaging per game this season, but the fouls ultimately proved the difference, with the Hawks grabbing 16 free throws to the Octopuses’ four.

Pumas joined the Hawks at 3-0 after overcoming Chapman Valley 66-60 in the later game.

Unlike the previous game, the points were shared around the court more but it was hard not to be drawn to Mathew Wundenberg who was a big presence underneath the rim.

Harry Evans was strong from out wide for the Pumas but the Warriors had a one-point lead into half-time 36-35, with Wudneberg leading the way with 10.

Tomas Dobson and William Galvin, the Pumas’ top two scorers so far this season, were kept quiet and combined for just seven points in the first half.

Tomas Dobson came to life in the second half.
Camera IconTomas Dobson came to life in the second half. Credit: Jake Santa Maria

But that changed in the second as Dobson began to find his range and work his way into the match.

Their momentum was hurt somewhat by foul trouble but the Warriors were inaccurate from the line.

Wundenberg and Llewyn Valli put up the strongest challenge for the Pumas’ defence but they were forced to work for their baskets and were unable to sink anything from beyond the arc.

It would prove the difference as the Pumas found nine three-pointers to the Warriors’ one and allowed them to take home the win.

Dosbon finished top-scorer with 19 and Glavin recorded 14, while Wundenberg had 16 and Valli 13 for Chapman Valley.

On Tuesday, Trades picked up their first win of the season to move off the foot of the table in an enthralling battle over the Stateside Scorpions 53-50.

Scorpions were probably the favourites going into the match and could consider themselves unlucky to be on the end of three 30-plus-point performances from Buccs’ Dempsey Joseph, Blanchett and Klasztorny in the opening rounds.

Trades were well off the pace in their opener against the Hawks and while they fought hard against the Pumas lacked the offensive weaponry to get back in the game after falling behind early.

However, they ensured they did not let the game get away from them early as neither side was able to get on a huge run in the first half.

Tristan Jacques was led the scoring for the Scorpions while Charlie Thurkle matched him at the other end for Trades, being the first to crack double digits with 12 points in the first half.

However, it was Stateside who took a two-point 23-21 lead into half-time as Thurkle was unable to get support, with his team combining for 11 points outside of his shooting.

But the Trades’ tenacity in defence was once again on display as indicated by the 19 fouls they gave away compared to the Scorpions’ 10 and Campbell Surtees (10) began to join Thurkle on the scoreboard.

Jacques was still hitting boards at the other end but the difference on the night came from beyond the arc.

Trades nailed eight three-pointers more than they’ve managed in their opening two games combined, while the Scorpions could manage only one.

Thurkle hit five of those as his sharp-shooting help lift his team to the three-point win and condemn Stateside to an 0-3 start.

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