For a second consecutive year the Geraldton Buccaneers are set to finish their season earlier then expected.
The Goldfields Giants all but ended the playoff hopes of the Buccs on Saturday night with a 94-83 win on their home court in Kalgoorlie.
Geraldton are in 11th position on the ladder, three games back of Willetton who occupies the final playoff spot.
The Buccs have five more games remaining this season and will need to win them all to have any chance of avoiding an early finish to the season.
If they are unsuccessful, it will be the first time in the club’s history that they have missed the finals series in consecutive seasons.
Ty Harrelson kick-started the Buccaneers’ downfall with a game high 32 points to go with 11 rebounds and eight assists.
He was given plenty of support from the likes of Russell Hurst with 17 points.
For Geraldton, Aaron Ralph netted 22 points and secured seven rebounds while Morgan Sabia scored 20 points and recorded 10 rebounds.
The Giants had the edge in rebounding and free throws throughout the game.
Goldfields out rebounded their opponents 50-30 and took 25 shots from the free throw line compared to the Buccs’ 14.
Geraldton looked set for a big game early on when they took an early 29-26 quarter-time lead with some hot shooting from three-point land.
That all went to waste in the second period as the Giants began to convert on the scoreboard.
Goldfields scored with three out of five three-point attempts to lead 55-46 at half-time.
A scrappy third quarter saw the Buccs narrow the gap by a small margin, outscoring the home team 14-12.
With just a seven-point deficit to close heading into the last quarter, the Buccs could never quite slow down the Giants for long enough to get close.The visitors watched on as the Giants found their offence again and pushed away to claim their ninth win of the year.
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