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Image Courtesy - Kai Johnson

Team Solent Kestrels fell to a hard-fought 61-69 defeat at the Solent Sport Complex against the COLA Southwark Pride. Despite a very even first half, the visitors stretched out a small lead in the third quarter that proved to be insurmountable for the south coast team.


Florrie Cotterill led the way for the Kestrels with 13 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists as interim head coach Annie Scanlon continued to implement her new style on the side. Tilly Goddard also scored 13 alongside 6 assists and 3 steals whilst Earleesha Jackson scored 12 points with 4 rebounds.


The first quarter had to wait a short time for the first points of the afternoon before the visitors opened up the scoring. Instead of one team taking charge, the two sides seemed to be trapped in mirroring each other as every basket one end of the court was countered at the other end in quick succession. Both sides saw an even spread of point-scorers from across their respective squads, with Solent working hard to score from close range but then undoing that work by conceding plentiful fouls, allowing Southwark Pride to tie up the game immediately, ending the first quarter 15-16 to the visitors.


The second quarter was identical to the first, with both sides matching each other step for step and point for point. Gabi Kostova-Dobrova found some rhythm to help the Kestrels stay in touch with the London side whilst Fernanda Loberto expended huge amounts of energy on the defensive side to halt the away team’s attacks. The deficit refused to change as each team only ever led by one throughout, seeing the half-time buzzer go with the Kestrels losing 27-28.


The third quarter would prove to be decisive as although the Kestrels would start fast, a tough second half to the quarter saw them concede multiple three-pointers, allowing the one-point deficit to grow. Despite the continued effort from close range shots and the drawing of more fouls from the visitors, the Kestrels couldn’t reach equal terms again. They would hold the deficit to just four going into the final 10 minutes as the scoreboard read 47-51.


The fourth quarter saw two very different styles from the two sets of players as the Kestrels tried to beat the clock and produce another comeback akin to their win earlier in the season against the Birmingham Rockets. Goddard drew in multiple fouls and had great success from the foul line as she led a charge to even the scores but it proved not to be as the Kestrels ran out of time and energy to complete the comeback.


Kestrels are back in action this weekend as they travel to City of Birmingham Rockets on Saturday afternoon.

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