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Geraldton Buccaneers too good for Joondalup Wolves as they look for first championship since 2019

Headshot of Jake Santa Maria
Jake Santa MariaMidwest Times
Buccs are one win away after dominating the Wolves. Pictured is  Cameron Coleman.
Camera IconBuccs are one win away after dominating the Wolves. Pictured is Cameron Coleman. Credit: Arctic Moon Photgraphy

The Geraldton Buccaneers have been the standout team all NBL1 West season 2022 and they are now in the grand final following a thumping win over the Joondalup Wolves on Sunday.

A sellout crowd poured into Activewest Stadium hoping to see the Buccs earn their way to the championship decider.

They had reason to be confident following a demolition of the Cockburn Cougars in last week’s semi and were convincing winners in their last two meetings against the Wolves.

Just like they did last week the Buccs came out breathing fire and by quarter-time had blown the Wolves out of the water by piling on 35 points and conceding just 18.

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Cameron Coleman was once again the danger man while Shaun Stewart hit the scoreboard early as the imports combined to give the Buccs a perfect start.

While the Buccs’ lead did get out to 20 points early in the second quarter, the Wolves were able to stay within striking distance to cut Geraldton’s half-time lead to 55-44.

While both teams were poor from the three-point line the Wolves were able to work their way through inside the paint with Jonathan Wade proving a difficult man to stop using his size to outmuscle the Buccs.

With the game on the line, the Buccaneers weren’t in the mood to let the visitors back into the contest though and the home team asserted their dominance once more in the third quarter.

They blew their lead back out to 18 points as Stewart took the lead with the only sour note being an injury to Ryan Blanchett though it would be confirmed after the match he had avoided any serious injury.

The Buccs delivered 27 points to 19 in the last quarter leading them to a 107-81 win to reach the 2022 grand final where they will attempt to beat the Rockingham Flames and win the club’s third championship, and first since 2019.

It was another complete performance from the Buccaneers as they outrebounded the Wolves 46 boards to 34 while shooting 52.7 per cent from the floor and knocking down 16/32 at 50.0 per cent from three-point territory.

In contrast, the Wolfpack went at 42.9 per cent from the field and hit 6/25 at 25.0 per cent from beyond the arc.

Shaun Stewart was outstanding once again for Geraldton, finishing the afternoon with 28 points, five assists and four rebounds on 11/16 shooting from the floor.

After the game, Stewart spoke of the support the team has received throughout the year from the Buccs faithful.

“This was a last home game and I’ve enjoyed every single home game, it’s a great atmosphere reminds me of back home and they’ve been great the whole time,” he said.

“I love the community and the fans here.”

Coleman delivered another 27 points, eight rebounds and three assists and hit 6/11 from three-point territory.

Mathiang Muo produced 17 points, four rebounds and four assists, Liam Hunt 13 points and eight rebounds, and Malik Meunier 11 points six assists, four boards and two steals.

The Buccs will now head down to Perth to face the Rockingham Flames in the championship decider at Bendat Basketball Stadium in Perth at 7pm on Saturday.

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