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Image Courtesy - Kai Johnson

The Solent Kestrels emerged 89-66 winners over the Cobham Cobras at the Solent Sport Complex in a performance that saw Ilias Taiwo make his return to the court as a Kestrels player.

Russell Gariepy emerged the top scorer of the match with 26 points and a 100% record from three point range. Isa Brandon scored 21 points whilst also grabbing six rebounds and 7 assists as both men continued their high scoring runs so far this season.

The Kestrels were caught slightly cold as the Cobras took the lead after the first two minutes. Ash Briggs used his body to good effect in the paint as he kept the Kestrels in touch. Brandon and Gariepy helped even the tide of the momentum and put the home side in front, but couldn’t stretch out their lead beyond a four point advantage as the first quarter ended 25-21.

The second quarter started in very different fashion to the first as Solent started to get themselves ahead. The points started to come from across the court for the Kestrels as Elliot Dadds and Matt Hughes started to create scoring plays to accompany the continuing form of Brandon and Gariepy. The half-time buzzer sounded with Cobham facing a deficit of 49-31.

The third quarter saw more free-flowing attacks from the Kestrels. Gariepy started to establish the perimeter game as he found success from the three-point line before Will Taylor, Sean Mulhern and Ilias Taiwo got busy in the paint, the latter scoring with an eye-catching two-handed dunk. Cobham found some success scoring from close range but couldn’t cut into the lead as the third quarter ended 72-53.

The final quarter saw looser passes and ballhandling that sparked fastbreaks for both teams in an even display. Brandon, through an admirable display of late hustle, breached the 20-point mark before a Cobras player was ejected from the game for two technical fouls. The tempo of the game slowed down in the final minutes before the final buzzer signified a sixth straight league victory for the Kestrels.

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