Buccs Johny Narkle, Will Galvin shine as Pumas grab Geraldton men’s basketball minor flag, Chapman in finals

Reuben CarderGeraldton Guardian
The Pumas' Will Galvin shuts down the Olympians' Liam Bennett as Harry Evans (no. 4) and Flynn Dillon (no. 11) stand guard.
Camera IconThe Pumas' Will Galvin shuts down the Olympians' Liam Bennett as Harry Evans (no. 4) and Flynn Dillon (no. 11) stand guard. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

Slick passing and strong defence from a squad featuring a core group of NBL1 West players meant the Pumas took out the minor premiership in Geraldton men’s basketball on Wednesday night.

In a tense showdown for one remaining finals spot, Chapman Valley came from behind to ensure a place in the top four at Stateside’s expense.

Stateside finished top in the women’s, ahead of Trades.

The game between the Pumas and the Olympians was relatively close until the final 15 minutes, when the Pumas rained in shots while closing down in defence.

They ran away with a 102-82 win.

The Pumas and Olympians will face each other again in the second semifinal on Tuesday with the stakes higher.

Valley were down a dozen points at one stage in their match, but ran out 76-69 winners and will now face the Trades on Monday.

NBL1 West recruit Johny Narkle, returning to the court after a year in the WAFL, put on a huge display of physical ability for the Olympians, top scoring on the night with 38 points including a couple of huge slams.

He also showed vision and awareness, with long-range distribution and the ability to draw defenders and pick a way past them with his huge reach.

It was not enough on the night but the Olympians will have a greater occasion to rise to next week.

Fenix Geraldton Buccaneers centre Will Galvin lit up the stats sheet for the Pumas at both ends of the court.

He grabbed 28 points and was a solid wall in defence.

Clayton Parfitt showed his skill with 20 points, and their teenage Buccs teammates Tom Dobson and Harry Evans grabbed 19 and 11 points.

Llewyn Valli scored 20 points for Chapman Valley, and Lou Causer and Jaxon Graham put 16 and 14 on the scoreboard.

Buccs vet Mat Wundenberg suited up for Chapman Valley but did not get on the court.

Wundenberg said he was expecting to return for the Buccs after breaking a foot last season.

Valley’s win meant they pipped the Trades into third place on percentage.

Valley went into the game one place and two points ahead of Stateside.

A win for the Scorpions and some percentage could have pushed them into finals ahead of the Warriors, but it was not to be.

Stateside wrapped up the women’s flag, beating Chapman Valley 53-28. l

Trades beat the Pumas 41-32.

Pumas play Valley in the first semi on Monday and Stateside play the Trades in the second semi on Tuesday.

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