TEAM Solent Kestrels rolled back into NBL Division One action at the SSC, with a convincing 109-75 victory over a young Barking Abbey London Lions side, writes Jack O'Keeffe.

The hosts used a dominant first-half display to blow the game open early on and never surrendered the lead the rest of the way.

BA’s Veron Eze opened the scoring with a lay up on the first possession of the ball game but would be matched right away as Orlan Jackman went to work inside, drawing the foul and converting the lay up for an and-1 opportunity.

Back-to-back triples from Jackman and Ian Smith pushed the hosts to a six-point lead early on and when Kestrels scored another five unanswered, Lions coach James Vear would call for his first timeout of the game at 15-4 TSK.

An 8-2 run post timeout for the home side however, would push the lead out to 17 with just over five minutes played after a number of successful trips to the foul line.

Andre Arissol and Jonathan Lashley came off the bench to keep the scoring ticking over for TSK and that ensured they were firmly in control after the first, 36-20.

Kestrels continued to ramp up the defensive pressure as they held the visitors to just seven points in the second quarter, with one man fast break Luke Busumbru converting at the other end for a number of transition scores.

Another 8-2 run for the home side pushed the advantage out to 22 and forced Barking into their second timeout of the first half. However both Travis Charles and Busumbru again ensured the lead would extend further with quick scores post timeout.

A 15-0 run to close the half for TSK, holding the visitors scoreless for the final 5mins 36secs of the half, left them in the driving seat at the break, 63-27.

The sides traded baskets to open the second half as Eze went coast-to-coast from a steal and flushed it with two hands for the Lions but Arissol would stroke a triple in reply for the Kestrels. Brendan Okoronkwo extended the deficit to 44 when he cashed in from beyond the arc, but the visitors showed plenty of fight as they continued to score the ball freely.

Luke Gosney came off the bench to provide a timely offensive spark for the hosts, scoring six straight points to close the quarter with TSK now up 90-49.

A 9-0 run to start the final period pushed the gap out to 50 points after Gosney made a pair of free throws and a lay up in quick succession. However a 9-0 run behind some Jase Harrison sharp shooting for Lions prompted a coach Matt Guymon timeout to remind his players not to allow complacency to set in.

Another 12-0 run again allowed Barking to cut the arrears to a far more respectable scoreline as they showed plenty of fight to close the game. A barrage of Chris Scarlett threes, as he returned to the line up after being in isolation, was the icing on the cake to finish the game for the hosts though and they cashed in another victory to move to 5-0 in NBL D1 play.

TSK head coach Guymon commented on his sides performance: “It was great to be back on the floor after a long lay off.

"The guys have been really locked in during our practices over the break and that showed in spells. We were able to string a number of consecutive stops together at different points of the game which fuelled us in transition offensively.

"Hopefully this will be something we can continue to grow as the guys find their rhythm in the coming weeks.”

Kestrels were led by Jackman’s 23 points whilst Charles added 15 and three other Kestrels (Okoronkwo, Busumbru and Gosney) finished on 13 points.

Ian Smith also fell one assist shy of yet another triple-double.

Barking’s American guard Harrison put up 24 points for them, whilst GB junior international Eze was the only other player to reach double figures with 12.