Geraldton Buccaneers back in the winners’ seat at home in close 92-89 contest over Perry Lakes Hawks

Headshot of Fraser Williams
Fraser WilliamsGeraldton Guardian
Ryan Blanchett celebrating game 200 with coach Dayle Joseph.
Camera IconRyan Blanchett celebrating game 200 with coach Dayle Joseph. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography/Arctic Moon Photography

The Buccaneers kept the Geraldton crowd on the edge of their seat during a tight 92-89 win over the Perry Lakes Hawks on Saturday.

After losing their first game at Activewest Stadium in two seasons, the Geraldton side moved on as they had a chance to start a new streak with a second straight home game.

The Buccaneers had gone undefeated at home before dropping a game to East Perth last week, with their streak going back to July 2022, when their previous loss was at the hands of Perry Lakes.

The match was a milestone for Buccaneer Ryan Blanchett, who played his 200th NBL1 West game in front of a roaring Activewest Stadium.

Get in front of tomorrow's news for FREE

Journalism for the curious Australian across politics, business, culture and opinion.


Still dealing with injury, the Buccs were without import Josh Braun for another game as they rolled out the starting five of Nik DeSantis, Aaron Ralph, Josh Keyes, Liam Hunt and milestone man Blanchett.

Big man Hunt had the first score of the game with a three off a Ralph steal, but Geraldton tailed off as the Hawks managed to build a seven-point lead with consecutive scores in the first.

A shot from Keyes put Geraldton ahead and the Buccs went into the quarter-time break with a one-point lead after Liam Bennet drew a foul and sunk both free-throws.

The Buccs got back to their old form as the game progressed, playing more of a Geraldton style of basketball with players getting to the line.

Nik DeSantis going to the rim against Perry Lakes.
Camera IconNik DeSantis goes to the rim against Perry Lakes. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography/Arctic Moon Photography

Geraldton had a 10-point advantage to start the final term, increased by a Hunt hook shot.

However, the Buccaneers started to falter, and Perry Lakes capitalised late.

The mistakes started to pile up for the Buccs, as the Hawks looked a chance to make a miracle happen.

Up by 10 points with three minutes left, Geraldton gave up a score, followed by a turnover at the offensive end.

The Hawks took quick scores as the Buccaneers were not converting on their possessions, and the lead was cut to four points with 27 seconds remaining after a score from Perry Lakes’ Jaylen Key.

Captain Ralph was fouled and sunk one free to increase the margin to five points, but on the Hawks’ inbound with five seconds left, Luke Phillips hit a corner three to make it a two-point game.

With just two seconds left, Ralph was fouled again and sent to the line, Mat Wundenberg rejected the inbound from the Hawks and Geraldton held on for the tight three-point win.

Mat Wundenberg and Josh Keyes guarding.
Camera IconMat Wundenberg and Josh Keyes guarding. Credit: Arctic Moon Photography/Arctic Moon Photography

DeSantis led the way in scoring once again with a season high 32 points along with two assists, a rebound and a steal.

Keyes contributed with 18 points, seven rebounds, five assists and two blocks and Hunt had another double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

In game 200, Blanchett had four points, five rebounds, four assists and a block.

The Buccs won the game through their free throws and their passing, with the side getting to the line 20 times compared to the Hawks’ 13 and finishing with 24 team assists to Perry Lakes’ 13.

Now the Geraldton Buccaneers will be back on the road heading to Perth, facing their third double-header this season.

On Saturday, they will face the Cockburn Cougars at Wally Hagan Stadium and then on Sunday they will have a chance to redeem their home loss when they take on the East Perth Eagles at Morley Sport and Recreation Centre.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails