Geraldton Buccaneers move to 7-0 after thrilling win over Rockingham Flames

Justin Fris and Lachlan AllenMidwest Times
Buccs' Johny Narkle and Mathew Wundenberg with Flames' Samuel Bray.
Camera IconBuccs' Johny Narkle and Mathew Wundenberg with Flames' Samuel Bray. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography

The Geraldton Buccaneers have left it late again, seeing off the Rockingham Flames 88-86 on Saturday night at Activewest Stadium to continue their unbeaten start to the season.

Easily the most exciting offensive showcase of the season, both teams jacked up 11 three-point attempts between them inside the opening five minutes of the game, which clearly indicated the contest would not be for the faint-hearted.

Both teams traded blows early on, although Buccs duo Johny Narkle (14 defensive rebounds) and Malik Meunier did a superb job curtailing the influence of offensive threat Marshall Nelson and former Perth Wildcats skipper Greg Hire.

Late in the second term, with the home side holding a commanding 43-27 lead, Flames coach Ryan Petrik took a time-out to stem the flow.

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However, some heads-up plays in the paint during the final minutes from Buccs imports Sean Stewart and Cameron Coleman were enough for the home side to chalk up yet another impressive home win.

Buccs coach Dayle Joseph praised the performance of Narkle.

“We needed someone like him to commit and really have a good crack at it. Since the season started, he hasn’t missed a training session and he’s working really hard,” he said.

“He’s trying to get better all the time and believe it or not, I think there’s probably only an upside for Johny from here on in.”

The game looked like it would slip away from the Buccs in the final quarter as umpiring decisions went against them, but Joseph was proud of the way his team remained calm and saw it out.

“I was really happy win, lose or draw in that game. If they had made that last shot obviously the result would have been different, but I would have been really happy with how our team handled some of the things that were going against us that were out of our control,” he said.

This result sees the Buccs remain top of the NBL1 West ladder with a 7-0 record, while the Flames have moved down to fourth.

They will now face the third-placed Mandurah Magic next Saturday night at Activewest Stadium.

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