Redbacks hearts broken in Geraldton

The winning run of the Perth Redbacks men ended in the most heartbreaking of fashions in Geraldton on Saturday night ahead of a double with the Kalamunda Eastern Suns this weekend.

The Redbacks women had the bye while the men’s team made the road trip to take on the Geraldton Buccaneers on Saturday night in Round 15 of the NBL1 West season.

The Redbacks went into the game raging favourites, even without Marty Nelson who was still missing with injury. They were on a four-game wining streak and the Buccs were shorthanded, missing starters Aaron Ralph and Mat Wundenberg.

But the Buccs came to play and there was little in the game between the two teams all the way.

The Buccaneers managed to open up a 24-20 lead by quarter-time before the Redbacks got locked in defensively in the second term and saw scores all tied up at 34-34 by the half-time break.

Scores were still locked together at 49-49 by three quarter-time and you could just sense the game was destined to be decided on the buzzer.

A 7-0 run early in the last term for Geraldton gave the home team a seven-point lead with six minutes left on the clock but Perth responded with the next five points to keep things close.

Taine Wattie then hit a triple for Geraldton to put the lead back out to five points before Zac Gattorna responded with a jumper for the Redbacks. Louis Timms and Brandon Holloway then traded buckets before Gattorna drained a triple and scores were level once more with 1:30 left.

After Tevin Jackson made a good drive to get into the paint and hit a huge hook shot to put the Redbacks up 67-65 with seven seconds on the clock, the Buccs called a time out to draw up the last play.

A misdirection play allowed Mathiang Muo to get a bit of space to get up his three-ball and he drained it as time expired to give the Buccs their fifth win of the season in remarkable fashion, beating the Redbacks 68-67.

Louis Timms was big for the Redbacks on Saturday night with 34 points and 12 rebounds on 14/20 shooting from the floor.

Tevin Jackson ended the evening with 14 points, nine rebounds and five assists with Zac Gattorna contributing 10 points, six boards, four assists and two steals.

Captain Joel Wagner also had three points and five assists for Perth, Kyden Edman three points and four rebounds, and Derek Igbenoba two points and a rebound.

It was a missed opportunity for the Redbacks men as a win would have seen them in the top four at the end of the round. Instead, they now occupy seventh spot on the ladder with six games left to play over three gruelling doubleheaders.

For the women, after their bye they sit in sixth place with 4 games left to play over three weekends.

Both the women and men will be in action at Belmont Oasis this Friday night taking on the Kalamunda Suns before heading up to Kalamunda on Saturday evening to repeat the matchup.

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