Slammers fall short to Buccs

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Mitchell WoodcockSouth Western Times
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The taste of revenge against the Perth Redbacks from 24 hours earlier was soured when the Printsync South West Slammers were defeated by the Geraldton Buccaneers at the Eaton Recreation Centre on Saturday night.

A courageous five-point win over the Shawn Redhage-led Redbacks on Friday night was overshadowed by what was a tough 10-point loss to the Buccs on their home court.

Geraldton Buccaneers guard Jackson Hussey scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed seven rebounds in a dominant display, kick-starting his side in the second half on the way to a 96-86 victory.

The Slammers shot out of the blocks to an eight point lead at the first break on the back of some outstanding shooting from Tre Nichols (27 points), who hit a number of shots from beyond the arc.

Slammers star Tre Nichols gets on the move through the Buccs' defence.
Camera IconSlammers star Tre Nichols gets on the move through the Buccs' defence. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock

Geraldton were slow to get their offensive rhythm going and let a number of open chances slip, but the Buccs came out firing in the second term with import Dwayne Benjamin (27 points, eight rebounds) leading the way.

Dwayne Benjamin takes a free throw.
Camera IconDwayne Benjamin takes a free throw. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock

They set their defence up well and began scoring points off turnovers, using the fast break to get Benjamin and Hussey open.

The Buccs took a narrow one-point lead into the half-time break, but looked in control and it appeared all the momentum was swinging their way. Things began to get heated in the third term when numerous clashes between Slammers import Brian Voelkel and Buccs guard Aaron Ralph saw both men get technical fouls.

But it was Hussey who would have the biggest say on the court, driving on the basket with intent, as well as pulling in a number of rebounds on the defensive end.

Slammers import Brian Voelkel shoots off a pass.
Camera IconSlammers import Brian Voelkel shoots off a pass. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock

But it was Hussey who would have the most impact on the court, driving on the basket with intent, as well as pulling in a number of rebounds on the defensive end.

With Benjamin still hitting shots and fellow import Maurice Burrow starting to have an impact on the paint, the Buccs seemed on their way to a comprehensive victory.

Slammers guard Michael Lay stood up, finishing the game with 27 points, but it was his intent and play-making abilities which dragged his side back into the game.

Slammers guard Michael Lay calls the play.
Camera IconSlammers guard Michael Lay calls the play. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock

When Buccs captain Matt Wundenberg was fouled out of the game with about three minutes left, the Slammers made their charge, but the Buccs held out on defence to claim the double-figure victory.

The result the night before against the Redbacks was much more positive for the Slammers, who defeated the home side 98-93 at Belmont Oasis.

Lay scored a team-high 31 points in an incredible display, gaining retribution for their Round 2 loss at the hands of Perth.

Once again, Redhage was at his best, leading all comers with 33 points, while also grabbing nine rebounds in a powerful display.

The game could have gone either way, with the Redbacks leading by three points at the final break, but some superior work from Nichols (30 points) on the scoreboard as well as Voelkel (11 rebounds, nine assists) allowed the Slammers to come from behind and claim their sixth victory of the season.

Slammers import Brian Voelkel measures up a shot.
Camera IconSlammers import Brian Voelkel measures up a shot. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock
Slammers guard Teny Puot looks for an option.
Camera IconSlammers guard Teny Puot looks for an option. Credit: Mitchell Woodcock

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