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Image Courtesy - Kai Johnson

The Solent Kestrels beat the Cardiff Met Archers 86-64 at the Solent Sport Complex as they built on their in-form start to the season.

Isa Brandon earned an impressive double-double with 26 points, 10 assists and 4 rebounds whilst Ashley Briggs also got a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The first quarter started with a bang as Elliot Dadds, who would finish with 12 points and 9 assists, sparked a 12-point unanswered scoring run in the first three minutes, causing a timeout from the Archers as they tried to stop the Kestrels from flying ahead. The Archers found their rhythm and started to answer back after the timeout but couldn’t get back on level terms as the Kestrels headed into the second quarter with a 23-15 lead.

Isa Brandon was another who wasted no time in getting started in the first and continued that vein of form in the second, diving on a loose ball before following up on a missed shot to finish the putback attempt through two defenders. Ashley Briggs started to assert himself in the post on both defence and offence, causing another timeout from the visitors. A game of tug and war ensued as the Kestrels looked to pull away before the Archers closed the gap again. Two late trips to the free throw line saw the home team go into the half up 45-32.

The third quarter started like the first. The Kestrels, this time led by Briggs and Brandon, raced into action. Brandon’s multiple drives into paint and Briggs aerial ability meant that the three-point shooting of the Archers had a hard time in making any in-roads into the Kestrels’ lead. Sean Mulhern found himself appearing in key places to help the offence and the Kestrels reach a 70-48 lead heading into the final quarter.

The final quarter lessened in intensity slightly as it wore on. Will Taylor appeared everywhere on the court to help see the win over the line, highlighted by a huge block which got the entire substitutes bench out of their seats. Fighting until the final buzzer, both sides put on a valiant display but the Kestrels had done enough early in the game to continue their hot streak.

Kestrels are back in action this weekend at the SSC as they welcome Cobham Cobras, Saturday at 6pm, before heading to D1 outfit Essex Rebels on Sunday in the National Cup (4pm).

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