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Geraldton Buccaneers’ unbeaten run comes to an end against the Cockburn Cougars

Lachlan AllenMidwest Times
The Geraldton Buccaneers suffered their first loss of the season against the Cockburn Cougars on Sunday.
Camera IconThe Geraldton Buccaneers suffered their first loss of the season against the Cockburn Cougars on Sunday. Credit: Geraldton Buccaneers

The Geraldton Buccaneers’ suffered their first loss of the NBL1-West season on Sunday, going down to the Cockburn Cougars by four points at Wally Hagan Stadium.

A brilliant first half from the Cougars saw them take a 22-point lead at the break, leaving the Buccs with a mountain to climb in the second half.

Despite their best efforts, it was too little too late for the Buccs who fell short in the end, losing 98-94. They remain on top of the ladder, with a win-loss ratio of 10-1.

A stunning Carter Skaggs shooting display, which saw him hit nine three-pointers on his way to 37 points, helped the Cougars snap the unbeaten run of the Buccs.

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Cameron Coleman top-scored with 21 points while Shaun Stewart had a quiet night with 10 points.

Coach Dayle Joseph praised the performance of Skaggs in his side’s loss.

“Well for starters, one of their players in Carter Skaggs pretty much couldn’t miss, that made a bit of a difference when he comes out and scores 29 at half-time,” he said.

“But yeah, he was awesome during the whole game to be honest and probably set them up for a win.”

On Saturday night, the Buccs defeated a gutsy Warwick Senators 95-88 at Warwick Stadium.

It was a determined display from the Buccs, who restricted the potent Senators’ offence — spearheaded by Caleb Davis and NBL veteran Cody Ellis — to a miserly 30 points in the second half.

Not content to rely on running excessive three-point sets, the Buccs’ victory was built around discipline and execution inside the paint, with American import Shaun Stewart (25 points - 10/13 inside the key, 10 rebounds) leading the way offensively.

Coupled by their superb inside shooting, the visitors also sank 17/28 from their trips to the free-throw line, with these points proving to be telling, given the final result.

The Buccs will now head back home to Geraldton for a match against the Willetton Tigers this Saturday night in round 10 of the NBL1 West.

Joseph expects his side to bounce back with an improved performance against the Tigers.

“It’s one of those things — the guys are highly competitive. They hate losing a free throw match-up at training, let alone losing a game.”

“They’ll take it to heart a little bit but they won’t want it to happen again.”

“So for us it’s maybe what we needed to recalibrate, refocus and look to the second half of the season to make sure we’re in good shape when it counts,” he said.

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