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Image Courtesy - Kai Johnson

The Solent Kestrels fell to late 66-71 defeat against the Bristol Academy Flyers in their penultimate game of the season at the Solent Sport Complex.


Despite leading going into the halftime break, the Kestrels were made to pay for a slow start to the second half. Ruby Laight scored 15 points, making five of six three-point attempts whilst Tilly Goddard also scored 15 from off the bench. Florrie Cotterill secured a double-double of 12 points and 15 rebounds in a strong performance in the paint.


The two sides were inseparable in the early stages of the game, with neither team building nor maintaining a lead. Three-point attempts from both sides ran the score up early, complemented by points in the paint from the centres of both teams. The first quarter ended with a slender 18-17 lead for the Kestrels.


The second quarter proved even better for the home team as Laight kept letting fly from long range with success whilst Goddard and Gabi Kostova-Dobreva kept ticking the score upwards with good finishes in the paint. Lily Blunt put herself to work by breaking up Bristol attacks as the second half ended 41-33 to the Kestrels.


The third quarter saw Bristol emerge a completely different side. The offense of the Kestrels still wasn’t answered but the visitors clicked into gear on their own attacks, and despite the best efforts of Earleesha Jackson in the interior and Fernanda Loberto on the perimeter, the Flyers couldn’t be stopped as they closed the gap to 60-57 in the Kestrels favour at the end of the third.


The fourth quarter saw both teams slow their scoring as fatigue crept in and defensive mindsets emerged on the court. The Kestrels couldn’t find gaps in the Bristol defence as they lost the pace that worked well against their much larger opponents earlier in the game. The Bristol attack saw the comeback complete as the Kestrels began their season finale weekend in a familiar fashion.

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