Split not bad amid solid start for Giants

Headshot of Peter Sweeney
Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian
Buccs’ Liam Hunt urges himself and his team on. He has been given more time and responsibility this season and has stepped up.
Camera IconBuccs’ Liam Hunt urges himself and his team on. He has been given more time and responsibility this season and has stepped up. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

Wayne Creek wants two out of two — but confesses he would be pretty happy with a split result.

Creek is coach of the Goldfields Giants, who host the Geraldton Buccaneers tomorrow night and become the visitors on Sunday afternoon when they play the Buccs at Activewest Stadium in Geraldton.

The Giants have won four of their seven basketball games this season in what Creek, a first-year but second-time-around coach of the club, describes as “a solid start.”

In comparison with last year — when the Giants won just five games and finished bottom — it is “out of this world”.

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“We’ve played some of the top sides thus far, the Wolves, the Flames, the Senators and now we’re facing the ladder leaders, so considering the scheduling, I’m pretty happy with how we’re travelling,” Creek said.

Goldfields Giants coach Wayne Creek addresses his team.
Camera IconGoldfields Giants coach Wayne Creek addresses his team. Credit: Kelsey Reid / Kalgoorlie Miner

“We’re chasing two wins, but realistically, if we split the weekend, I’d be happy.

“Ideally, you want to, and need to, win at home. Then who knows? We will fly to Geraldton on Sunday and will fly home after the game.

“Yes, I’m watching vision of the Buccs and doing some homework, some scouting, but I also have to focus on our team.

“That has to be the main focus.”

Buccs assistant coach Scott Rubery was in charge of the Giants last season, when Creek was one of his assistants.

“The likes of Scotty and Aaron Ducas, (both assistant coaches) and Dayle (Joseph, head coach) have been around top basketball circles a long time — they know what’s going on,” Creek said.

The Giants came up on the wrong side of a 74-84 scoreline against the Flames in their most recent SBL game, which was at home.

Just 32 per cent of the Giants’ shots dropped against an efficient Flames outfit which shot at 49 per cent, doing more damage on the scoreboard despite putting up just 69 shots to the home team’s 84.

“Our shots didn’t drop from the field, plain and simple,” Creek said.

“We want to put up 80 shots a night. We put up 84 and that’s more than enough shots to win a game.

“We’re bang-on defensively, we just didn’t shoot well enough.

“Whether that was their pressure or just our off shooting, sometimes that happens.

“We want to at least split the Geraldton games — we want to stay above .500, but having said that, we’ve had one of the hardest starts to the season (of any SBL club).

“After this, it will get considerably easier, we’ll have smatterings of the tough games, but we’ll also get a lot of easier ones.”

The Buccs will fly into Kalgoorlie-Boulder around lunchtime tomorrow and return home soon after the game.

Joseph said his team had done the trip to the capital of the Goldfields several different ways.

“We’ve driven cars there and we’ve bussed it. There are no excuses from a trip like this and I think the Giants will say the same,” he said.

“Both clubs are used to travelling and playing double headers on a Saturday and Sunday. In one way this will be easier, as we have more time between games (Sunday’s contest starts at 4pm) and because we are in our own beds on Saturday night.”

Despite the side sitting on top, Joseph said they were far from being carried away.

“It’s a bit deceptive really, because we’ve played some of the lower teams and most games have been at home. It would be good to pick up an edge this weekend with two wins as we head towards the middle of the season.”

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