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Image Courtesy - Kai Johnson

Team Solent Kestrels saw off a tough test in the capital on Saturday evening as they eventually dispatched Westminster Warriors, 91-75 in NBL Division 2 action. The wins moves Kestrels to 20-0 on the regular season and sets up an exciting close to the season over the coming weekends.

Isa Brandon was in free scoring mood as he posted 28 points whilst Russ Gariepy and Ash Briggs added 17 and 16 respectively.

The opening quarter was back and forth as both squads set about finding their scoring rhythm and would exchanged baskets in doing so, Ash Briggs scored inside for the Kestrels whilst Ashley got the hosts off the mark. TSK used some nice off ball movement to navigate their way to the basket and score in the paint at free will, however the home side would knock down back to back triples to edge in front at 25-24.

Kestrels turned up the defensive pressure in the 2nd quarter as they limited the Warriors to just 10 points in 10 minutes, adding 24 in return to give themselves a buffer going into the half time interval. Isa Brandon got going for TSK whilst Elliot Dadds also connected from beyond the arc pushing his sides lead to 48-35 at the half.

Neither side were able to establish control of the ball game as the second half got underway with both teams putting together scoring runs of their own, Westminster pulling within 9 before Kestrels responded to restore a double digit advantage. Russ Gariepy went back to back from three point land to extend the deficit before Briggs connected on the mid range jumper, TSK 73-52 after 3 quarters.

Westminster set about trimming the Kestrel’s lead as they hit back to back three’s to get the 4th quarter underway and did eventually get back within just 11. However a TSK timeout and immediate response would settle the visitors down keeping their double digit lead intact. A number of successful trips to the foul line late for Gariepy and Ilias Taiwo saw Kestrels hold on for a 91-75 victory.

Kestrels will travel to Greenwich Titans this coming Sunday in the penultimate game of the regular season before returning home in front of a sold-out crowd to face Milton Keynes Breakers (23rd March).

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