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KESTRELS MAKE IT 17 WINS ON THE BOUNCE


Image Courtesy - Kaitlyn Jeffrey

Team Solent Kestrels continued their unbeaten streak with an 86-78 win over Endeavour Ipswich at the Solent Sports Complex on Saturday, in a gritty win.

 

Matt Hughes proved to be the difference maker with 25 points and 9 rebounds whilst Russell Gareipy and Elliot Dadds scored 11 points each. Ashley Briggs secured a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds in a crucial display of physicality.

 

The home side were knocked slightly out of rhythm as usual starter Isa Brandon was unavailable for selection, meaning they would be without their 20 point a game player. As a result, they started the slower of the two sides with Ipswich taking the lead. Briggs and Dadds soon responded as the Kestrels had to spread the points around the squad to get past the Ipswich defence. The first quarter ended 21-24 to the away side, leaving the Kestrels in an unfamiliar position of chasing down the lead.

 

The south coast team did not wait long to turn the game around and soon found their rhythm again in the second quarter. The prowess of the Ipswich defence meant that they had to spread the ball around the court to find finishes but managed to take advantage of what chances they did create. Hughes spearheaded the scoring by finishing at the rim and also a lesser seen three pointer, turning the game’s momentum as the half ended 42-35 to the Kestrels.

 

The third quarter saw a lot more action in the paint from the Kestrels as they struggled to see regular success from beyond the three-point line. Ipswich had opposing fortunes, finding better luck with their long-range shooting as they chased down the lead. Briggs and Will Taylor were kept busy defending the interior as Ipswich continued to try and force the ball home. Despite their best efforts, the third quarter ended 68-57 to the Kestrels.

 

In one of the tightest finishes the Kestrels have had this season, Ipswich continued to press for the win in the final quarter. They managed to score from both the perimeter and interior as Hughes and co. tried to respond to keep hold of their lead. The Kestrels managed to score enough whilst showing great game management to hold firm defensively to see out the win and remain at the top of the table.


Kestrels now face a trip to Hertfordshire next weekend where they will take on Oaklands Wolves on Sunday afternoon, before they return home for their penultimate home game of the regular season against London Stars (2nd March 2024). You can secure your tickets for that match up on the link below.




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