TEAM Solent Kestrels moved to 2-0 with their first road victory of the season, knocking off Loughborough Riders 109-67 in a one-sided NBL Division One affair.

Kestrels led from the opening tip to the final buzzer in the East Midlands as they poured in yet another impressive offensive display, writes Jack O'Keeffe.

Travis Charles ensured Kestrels would start the better of the two sides as he scored four of the first six points of the game and when Ian Smith and Brendan Okoronkwo knocked down a pair of triples early on, TSK would lead 12-3. Jonas Dieterich provided some respite for the hosts as he knocked down a three of his own, however a further 10-2 run from the Kestrels pushed their lead out to 14 at 22-8. The lead jumped out to 16 before Harrison Gamble hit a jumper for the Riders to leave the score at 31-18 TSK after one.

A 14-2 run to open the second quarter blew the ball game wide open for Kestrels as their guard play proved too much for the Riders and when Luke Gosney got up high for the rejection and Luke Busumbru converted at the other end, Loughborough would call for timeout at 47-22. Riders briefly responded out of the time out but Kestrels pushed the lead over the 30-point mark when Gosney stroked a three ball and by the time the half was done, TSK were 63-35 to the good.

The second half started in back and forth fashion as Dieterich kept the scoreboard ticking for the hosts whilst Charles and Orlan Jackman ensured any hopes of a run from the hosts was kept at bay. A 9-0 run pushed the lead back into the 30s for TSK, capped off by an Okoronkwo three but Riders showed signs of life still as they replied with a dunk from Conroy Hayden. The gap increased to 38 momentarily, before a short flurry of scores to close the third brought Riders back within 30 at 88-58.

Ex-Loughborough, Andre Arissol scored TSK’s first five points of the fourth and the Kestrels bench provided even more fire power, through Busumbru and Gosney through the early stages of period. The lead ballooned further into the 40s as Busumbru and Scarlett piled on the scoring for the visitors and TSK were able to limit the hosts to just nine fourth quarter points, securing a 109-67 victory.

Charles was once again in dominant mood as he dropped 27 points for the visitors, whilst Okoronkwo added 19 and Jackman 17. Loughborough were led by Dieterich who had 19 points whilst Gamble was the only other Riders player to join him in double figures with 11.

Team Solent Kestrels head coach Matt Guymon was very pleased with his sides effort. He said: “I’m incredibly pleased with how we played. Even though Loughborough have a number of new players, they return some excellent offensive playmakers and we knew we had to be locked in to limit them.”

Kestrels are due back in action against recently promoted Team Newcastle University at home on Saturday.