Pumas beat Olympians to go to Geraldton men’s basketball final

Headshot of Reuben Carder
Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
Flynn Dillon watches Pumas teammate Harry Evans lay the ball up while Johny Narkle, left, and Liam Bennett try to stop him.
Camera IconFlynn Dillon watches Pumas teammate Harry Evans lay the ball up while Johny Narkle, left, and Liam Bennett try to stop him. Credit: Colin Sherman/Geraldton Guardian

Pumas have made it to the grand final in Geraldton men’s basketball by a whisker after getting past Olympians in a three-point thriller on Tuesday night.

The end result could not have been much closer, with Pumas winning 82-79.

They were in front for large parts of the match but were never able to establish a dominant lead, and it almost went down to the buzzer.

NBL1 West teenager Harry Evans was the top scorer for Pumas with 25 points including five three-pointers.

Flynn Dillon had 17 points.

Evans’ Fenix Geraldton Buccaneers teammates Will Galvin and Tom Dobson had 20 and 14 points, with Dobson making one three-pointer.

For Olympians, new Buccs recruit Johny Narkle put in another dominant display, scoring 32 points and hitting eight baskets from three-point range.

He almost took the game into overtime, scoring two three-pointers inside the last two minutes, and put the NBL1 West competition on notice with his second epic game in the space of a few days.

Liam Bennett scored 16 points, Brad Roworth had 11, including two three-pointers, and Isaac Smith had 10.

Richie Bartlett featured after travelling up from Perth, where he has been involved in the WAFL, adding seven points to the scoresheet.

Pumas’ opponents in the grand final will be decided when Olympians take on Chapman Valley on Monday at 7.15pm on court one in the preliminary.

Valley beat Trades 89-65 to go through to the preliminary, with Dempsey Joseph scoring 23 points.

Lou Causer scored 19 points, Llewin Valli had 17 and Jaxon Graham had 12.

Joey Iaria scored 26 points for Trades and Charles Thurkle got 14.

In Buccs news, coach Dayle Joseph said with the announcement of WA’s border restrictions easing from March 3, all of the club’s imports should be in town in early March ready for pre-season preparations.

“Pretty much early March they’ll (all) be here, there’ll be no quarantine and they’ll jump straight into training to prepare them,” Joseph said.

The Buccs have signed MVP defensive player Cameron Coleman and guard Malik Meunier from the Eastern States and re-signed ex-Perth Wildcat Mathiang Muo and former Mandurah Magic Guard and Limestone University player Shaun Stewart.

Muo has been in Africa on international duty for South Sudan, while Stewart has been at home in the US.

Stewart previously signed for the Buccs but returned home without playing a game to avoid being stranded when border restrictions were announced.

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