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Image Courtesy | Kai Johnson

Team Solent Kestrels signed off the 2023/24 WNBL D1 season with a 49-66 defeat to Reading Rockets at the Solent Sport Complex.


Earleesha Jackson scored 11 and got 7 rebounds whilst Faith McDowall scored 10 points and earned 8 rebounds in strong performances. Gabi Kostova-Dobreva got 8 rebounds and 9 points as the Kestrels focused on a strong showing on the interior.


The first quarter saw a slow start from the Kestrels, allowing Reading to race into an early lead. Despite Reading only having 6 players available to play, they wasted no energy in a frantic attacking spell which saw them grasp a hold of the game. The Solent response came late on in the quarter but wasn’t enough to overturn the early deficit as the first quarter ended 6-16 to the visitors.


The second quarter saw the scoring ramp up as both sides shook off the sluggish start. Reading made the most of the freedom on the perimeter being given up by the Kestrels and consistently fired in three pointers which saw the hard-earned close-range shots from the Kestrels couldn’t keep them in the game, meaning the first half ended 24-39 to Reading.


The third quarter ended up following the pattern of the first as the attacks of the Kestrels were repeatedly sent back, leaving the home team lacking scoring opportunities. McDowall tried to carry the team forwards with some great drives to the basket but Reading quickly replied with three pointers to see the quarter end 30-56.


The fourth quarter saw an improved Kestrels performance mount a small come back but not enough time remained for it to make a difference to the outcome of the game. Cotterill saw a late scoring spree alongside Jackson to cut down the lead with finishes from inside the paint but Reading would hold on for the win.

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