Willeton Tigers are not toothless

Dayle JosephGeraldton Guardian
Mo Barrow (left) is key for Willetton Tigers.
Camera IconMo Barrow (left) is key for Willetton Tigers. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

Geraldton Buccaneers coach Dayle Joseph writes why the Willetton team will be hard to tame tomorrow night.

The (Willetton) Tigers are sitting ninth — with an 8-10 record — but it’s not really a reflection of how tough they are.

They have beaten top teams Warwick Senators and Rockingham Flames and had a three-point loss to Joondalup Wolves.

They always have a strong program and will make a run at the top eight.

Players of the calibre of Mo Barrow, Jackson Hussey, Damien Scott, Elder and Black make them a strong line-up.

They play an aggressive 3/2 zone defence, which has challenged teams and it took us time to get used to last time we played.

From this defence structure, it gives the Tigers the opportunity to create turnovers and run the ball looking for fast break points.

It also keeps them close to the basket and in good rebounding positions to again be able to run and look for those fast breaks.

With the scoring power of Barrow (35 points last time we met) and Hussey and Scott averaging 20 points a game, along with Black and Elder in double figures, the Tigers are tough to stop.

Our challenges will be finding opportunities to score against their defence. Keys will be ball movement with precision passing and penetration into the key-way. Then we will be relying on our finish at the basket — whether that is in the paint or at the three-point line. A poor shooting percentage does not win games and it will give the Tigers an opportunity to rebound and run.

Our other challenge will be slowing them down and not giving up fast break points. Our transition defence will be tested and it’s something we have been working on.

DeAngelo Isby has given us more scoring power. Marcus Alipate’s last month has been outstanding. The efficiency of Liam Hunt has been valuable. A returning Brayden Inger from illness has added depth.

Add those guys to our veterans in Ralph, Wundenberg and JP, and the reliability of Lasher, Haste and Dinardo, and I believe we will challenge the Tigers.

We have been improving over the past month after a few challenges. We continue to look to improve and be better at our game and this week will be no different against a well-coached, talented team in the Willetton Tigers.

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