THE Geraldton Buccaneers secured the regular season championship with a thumping in the Men’s SBL of the Mandurah Magic on Sunday while the Stirling Senators also scored a crucial win on the road to the South West Slammers.
The penultimate round in the Men’s SBL concluded with two matches on Sunday afternoon with the Geraldton Buccaneers beating the Mandurah Magic 103-58 and then the Stirling Senators defeating the South West Slammers 102-96.
Round 19 in the Men’s SBL began back on Friday night with a crucial 89-78 win for the Rockingham Flames against the Lakeside Lightning while the Willetton Tigers beat the Kalamunda Eastern Suns 104-96.
Then on Sunday, Gavin Field put up 60 points as the Cockburn Cougars beat the Mandurah Magic 104-98 while the Geraldton Buccaneers defeated the South West Slammers 110-78 and the Perth Redbacks downed the Goldfields Giants 99-59.
The Joondalup Wolves also defeated the Rockingham Flames 102-89 with the Lakeside Lightning downing the East Perth Eagles 119-84 and the Perry Lakes Hawks pulling off a remarkable comeback to beat the Willetton Tigers 93-90.
The Round 19 results leave the top eight teams now set with Kalamunda falling out of contention with the loss to Willetton at home on Friday.
And while the top four is set too made up of the Buccs, Wolves, Redbacks and Hawks, there’s room for movement from fifth to eighth heading into the final round between the Lightning, Senators, Tigers and Flames.
SATURDAY NIGHT MEN’S SBL RECAP – WEEK 19
FRIDAY NIGHT MEN’S SBL RECAP – WEEK 19
MEN’S SBL PREVIEW – WEEK 19
LIGHTNING COACH PROUD OF JACK, GROUP FOR HANDLING ADVERSITY
FIELD KEEPS TAKING PRIDE IN BEING HEART AND SOUL OF COUGARS
TRAHAIR SEES BRIGHT FUTURE IF MAGIC GROUP STICKS TOGETHER
REDBACKS AIMING BIG DESPITE THE TARGET AS DEFENDING CHAMPS
The Sunday Round 19 action in the Men’s SBL began at Mandurah Aquatic and Recreation Centre with the Magic hosting the Buccs.
Mandurah deserved to come in confident having already won in Geraldton earlier in the season in a stunning upset where they handed the Buccs just one of their three defeats in all of 2018.
It wasn’t to be repeated in Mandurah on Sunday, though, with a dominant display from the Buccaneers seeing them rack up a seventh consecutive victory to secure the minor premiership with a 22-3 record with a home game against Willetton to come next Saturday night.
The Buccs were coming off a win in Bunbury over the Slammers by 32 points the previous night and came out on fire against the Magic with a 34-16 first quarter. They extended their lead to 61-37 by half-time and then held Mandurah to just 21 points for the entire second half.
Geraldton scored another 42 points themselves to end up winning emphatically by 45 points.
The Buccaneers once again had six players scoring in double-figures led by 20 points, four rebounds and three assists from Marcus Alipate who hit 3/4 from three-point territory.
Colter Lasher added 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists for the Buccs with Gokul Natesan contributing 17 points and six boards, and Earnest Ross 17 points, seven rebounds, five steals and three assists.
Liam Hunt delivered another 13 points, nine rebounds and three assists with Aaron Ralph contributing 11 points and four boards while knocking down 3/5 from downtown.
Jamal Shabazz top-scored for the Magic with 21 points, three steals, three rebounds, two assists and two blocked shots while Shaun Stewart added 18 points and five rebounds.
The round then concluded at Eaton Recreation Centre with the Slammers hosting the Senators in a crucial match for Stirling as they try to finish as high up in the bottom half of the top eight as possible.
It turned out to be a tight affair too for the opening three quarters but the Senators had too much on the line and pulled away in the fourth period with 31 points to 27 to come away with the six-point win.
The win improves the Senators to a 14-11 record on the season in sixth position ahead of their season-ending clash with the on-fire Perry Lakes Hawks at Warwick Stadium on Saturday night in what could still be a quarter-final preview.
Caleb Davis produced an impressive performance for the Senators with 26 points and 11 rebounds with Justin King adding 24 points, seven boards, three assists and two steals.
Robert Anshila contributed 16 points and 11 rebounds for Stirling, Cody Ellis 13 points, three boards and three assists, and Jay Thwaites 11 points, six rebounds and three assists.
Brian Voelkel battled hard once again for the Slammers finishing with another 23 points, 13 rebounds, four assists and two steals while shooting an efficient 10/15 from the field and 3/4 at the foul line.
Michael Lay added 20 points, four rebounds and four assists for South West, Braydon Thompson 19 points and three steals, Travis Durnin 17 points and three rebounds, and Matthew Leary eight points.
WEEK 19 MEN’S SBL FIXTURES
Rockingham Flames 89 defeated Lakeside Lightning 78
Kalamunda Eastern Suns 96 lost to Willetton Tigers 104
Cockburn Cougars 104 defeated Mandurah Magic 98
South West Slammers 78 lost to Geraldton Buccaneers 110
Goldfields Giants 59 lost to Perth Redbacks 99
Joondalup Wolves 102 defeated Rockingham Flames 89
Lakeside Lightning 119 defeated East Perth Eagles 84
Willetton Tigers 90 lost to Perry Lakes Hawks 93
Mandurah Magic 58 lost to Geraldton Buccaneers 103
South West Slammers 96 lost to Stirling Senators 102