Kestrels came through a tough test on the road in Wales on Saturday afternoon as they eventually dispatched Cardiff Met Archers 97-71. After a back and forth first half, the visitors had to wait until the early stages of the 4th quarter to blow the game open and secure their 15th victory of the season.
Captain fantastic Elliot Dadds was at his best pouring in 24 points and 11 rebounds whilst Russ Gariepy added 17 points and Isa Brandon chipped in 15.
Neither side took control of the game early on as both squads were able to find ways to tick the scoreboard over, all until Elliot Dadds stroked back to back triples to give Kestrels a 16-11 advantage. The visitors would continue in the ascendancy post Archers timeout, as they stretched the deficit to 9 at 22-13, after Russ Gariepy finished some pretty ball movement from his side. 25-18 TSK after one.
An 8-0 run to open the second quarter put Kestrels firmly in the driving seat, as Will Taylor came off the bench to find a number of inside scoring looks. With TSK’s lead now out to 15, Archers set about attempting to cut the gap through Pete Walker, who made a number of trips to the foul line for the hosts. Despite the Welsh sides best efforts to trim the arrears, Kestrels took a 50-40 lead into the interval.
The third quarter saw a real lack of quality from both ball clubs in a very low scoring 10 minute span. TSK pushed the lead back to 13 early in the quarter through Isa Brandon and Gariepy but the Archers would rally to close the period. Walker would stroke a triple that meant Cardiff were within single digits with just the fourth quarter remaining.
An early 9-2 scoring run for the Kestrels would slow any momentum the home side had and restored a 15 point advantage at 71-56. Both sides traded scores through the mid point of the final quarter and ultimately that suited the league leaders better as they kept their double digit lead intact. TSK then strung together a 14-2 run to finish the game and that transformed the scoreline, in what was a much more difficult encounter than the result suggests, 97-71 Kestrels.
TSK are back on the road this coming Sunday as the travel to Cobham Cobras, before returning home for their only game at the Solent Sports Complex this month against Endeavour Ipswich Basketball on Saturday 17th February 2024., tickets are available for that clash now.