On-fire Geraldton Buccaneers keep the lid on

Justin Fris and Geoff VivianGeraldton Guardian
South West Slammers skipper Michael Lay tries to subdue Geraldton Buccaneers youngster Oliver Haste.
Camera IconSouth West Slammers skipper Michael Lay tries to subdue Geraldton Buccaneers youngster Oliver Haste. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

The Quadrio Earthmoving Geraldton Buccaneers say they are not getting ahead of themselves after a 50-point victory over the South West Slammers last Saturday night.

“We didn’t really go over the win — except to say ‘well done’ and we did what we had to do,” coach Dayle Joseph said.

“We have a bigger picture ahead of us — starting with Kalamunda on Saturday — so we need to look towards that, along with a game the next day against Perry Lakes which we need to prepare for as well.”

Although their offence fired efficiently throughout the 105-55 triumph, Joseph was keen to praise the work ethic of his men on the defensive end.

“We’ve talked about defence since the very start of the pre-season,” he said.

“We want to be solid in defence so teams can’t get runs on us.

“Make sure that we are rebounding and not giving teams second opportunities. I think that was something we did well and it is helping us create other opportunities going forward.”

Slammers coach John Triscari was magnanimous in defeat.

“We failed to execute,” he said.

“The American (Tyler Livingston) went down and the boys dropped their heads.

“But that is a very good side.

“I thought they were going to be tough but I didn’t think they were going to be that tough.

“They just executed really well and have obviously been working really hard.

“We have a way to go.

“Unfortunately, some of the guys didn’t step up.”

The Buccs’ win was built on a barnstorming second quarter at Activewest Stadium in Geraldton.

Star Geraldton Buccaneers cheer squad members.
Camera IconStar Geraldton Buccaneers cheer squad members. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

With scores tied at 18-all at quarter-time, Joseph’s men flipped the game on its ear with a 37-14 second term and cruised to a 105-55 victory.

To further add to the Slammers’ woes in Eighth Street’s unofficial “house of horrors”, workhorse American import Livingston exited the match near the end of the first half with a niggling injury and did not return.

Much like watching an unattended sandwich at a picnic be ravaged by a swarm of ants, the Buccs ferociously peppered the visitors from a multitude of quality offensive looks to put the game out of reach by the half.

The Buccs were presented with eight wide-open shots with minimal resistance from the Slammers’ defence during the scintillating second quarter, with three of those hit successfully from beyond the three-point line — half of their entire successful long-range tally for the match.

Aaron Ralph had 13 points in the first half for the home side, with two steals and efforts on the boards at both ends equally welcomed by the Buccs hierarchy. Another to impress was skipper Mat Wundenberg, who had 11 rebounds and six points from his nine minutes of court time in the first half.

When the visitors did manage to secure possession, too often shots simply did not land or costly turnovers ended promising offensive build-up.

Evergreen skipper Michael Lay threw himself into the fray irrespective of the situation but aside from him, Slammers big man Chris Douglas (11 points, six rebounds) was the only other major thorn in the Buccs’ tilt for victory.

The Slammers’ first-half miscues were compounded in the final five seconds of the first half when, after Dylan Myers missed the third and final free throw, Wundenberg sprang to the basket, grabbed the offensive rebound and ensured a four-point play would end the half.

Leading 55-32 at the half, the home side outscored the visitors 26-9 in the third quarter, which allowed Buccs coach Joseph to ring the changes on his bench and give valuable minutes to Oliver Haste, Myers and William Galvin in the second half.

A series of frustrating turnovers — ranging from three shot-clock violations in the final term to poor passes — plagued the Slammers in the second half, often after they had worked their socks off to win possession via a steal or defensive board.

The Buccs (2-0) head to Perth for a road-trip double header against the Kalamunda Eastern Suns and Perry Lakes Hawks this weekend, while the Slammers (0-2) return home to face the Willetton Tigers.

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