IAN Smith demonstrated the form which saw him named MVP last year with a 30-point haul for Team Solent Kestrels as they swept aside Essex Rebels 117-61 in the L Lynch Trophy.

Matt Guymon's side are now two wins from two in the group stage, having also seen off Barking Abbey London Lions in week one, writes Jack O'Keeffe.

Smith opened the scoring for TSK against Essex as he knocked down a three-pointer on his side's first possession of the game, however Rebels point guard Jordan Gray replied right away with a drive of his own.

Across the first four minutes the sides would trade scores with neither team able to contain one another on dribble penetration from the perimeter.

Kestrels would take a brief six-point lead at 14-8 after a pair of Smith free throws, however Essex would reply instantly through Rory Winter and Cain Van Heyningen to cut the lead to one. Gray would tie things up momentarily from the foul line but an 11-0 run to close the first quarter behind Luke Busumbru off the bench, powered TSK to a 27-16 lead after one.

With the wind firmly in their sails, Kestrels set about building the lead to begin the second quarter, with Chris Scarlett getting in on the act with a triple off the bench. When Smith capped off a 10-0 run, the home side would hold a 37-16 advantage with less than four minutes gone in the period, the 21-0 run serving as a timely reminder of how quickly coach Guymon’s side can turn a game on its head.

The gap stayed at 20 for long spells of the second but a flurry of threes from the Rebels including a Sam Newman buzzer-beater to close the half, brought them back to within 14, 49-35 at the break.

The third quarter was all TSK. After a back and forth start the lead quickly jumped back to 20 after yet another turnover and Smith lay up, then when Brendan Okoronkwo pushed it to 22 on the next possession, Rebels would call for an early second half time-out.

Gray stopped the run from the free throw line for Essex, but 11 unanswered points, including back-to-back threes from Andre Arissol, quickly saw the lead balloon to 31.

A 17-4 run to close the quarter, behind some dominant Johnathan Lashley play inside and sharpshooting from Scarlett, pushed the deficit into the 40s and gave Kestrels a 92-51 lead with 10 minutes to play.

Kestrels continued to build their lead early on behind a 7-2 run, capped off with yet another Smith lay up, prompting a coach Norfolk time-out with the hosts' lead now out at 46. Kestrels would continue to pour it on late with no signs of letting up. Elias Poorman and Luke Gosney came in off the bench to increase the deficit and TSK would run out 117-61 winners.

“I thought this week's performance was a much more focussed display from our guys," said Kestrels coach Guymon.

"We were locked into the defensive end and showed spells of what are capable of, on that end of the floor. This fuelled our transition game and whilst Ian was able to put in a great offensive performance, I thought we had a number of key contributions across the board.”

Smith's 30 points were supported by 17 from Lashley and 16 from Arissol.

Kestrels will now turn their attentions to Worthing Thunder on Sunday, where a victory will see them top the group at 3-0 and advance to the knockout stages.