The Rockingham Flames men’s team headed to Geraldton on Saturday night to take on the Buccaneers in one of the most anticipated games of the NBL1 West season. But it was hreatbreak for Rockingham after the Buccs won 92-91 from two late free throws. It was the first meeting between the two teams since last year’s grand final where Rockingham produced a huge fourth quarter to claim their first championship before going on to win the NBL1 national championship just a week later. Rockingham led the way in the first quarter but the Buccaneers whittled the Flames’ lead down 54-51 at half-time. Rockingham hit back in the third quarter to lead by 10 and then by 14 in the fourth quarter. Buccs player Malik Meunier started the fightback, hitting a three-pointer before Shaun Stewart got aggressive and made some tough finishes. Rockingham remained strong right until the end, Callum Beard restoring Rockingham’s one-point edge with a strong inside finish on the dime from Marshall Nelson. After a foul from Rockingham, the Buccs had the upper hand, adding two points to seal the win. Liam Hunt scored 26 points, 13 rebounds, three steals and two blocks for the Buccs, while Meunier added 19 points, five assists and four rebounds, and Shaun Stewart 15 points, seven boards and five assists. Flames now stand at 8-2 for the season. Jeremy Combs scored 23 points, 13 rebounds and eight assists for Rockingham, Devondrick Walker added 20 points, four rebounds and four assists, and Justin Beard 16 points, 14 boards and three assists. The Rockingham Flames will take on the Eastern Suns on May 27, 8pm at Mike Barnett Sports Complex.