TEAM Solent Kestrels' hopes of another BBL Trophy run this season were cut short, as they were handed an 82-73 quarter-final loss by the Surrey Scorchers, writes Jack O'Keeffe.

Despite being the only NBL side left at this stage, Scorchers used their size to out match Kestrels in a back and forth affair and they will advance to play either Plymouth or Worcester in the semis.

Kestrels flew out of the gates to begin as they took a quick 10-4 lead behind Orlan Jackman and Travis Charles who both knocked down jump shots for the visitors. Surrey hit back quickly and tied the game at 10 after Cameron Hildreth got to the rim for a lay up, however four more Charles points followed by a Luke Busumbru score inside gave Kestrels a 16-12 advantage with just under four minutes to play in the first.

The lead changed hands several times as the first quarter came to a close and it was the hosts who were in front 22-24 after one.

Martelle McLemore and TSK’s Andre Arissol traded threes to open the second quarter but it was Scorchers who opened up the first daylight between the sides, forcing a TSK timeout 27-35 Surrey.

TSK cut the gap to five through Ian Smith and Johnathan Lashley, but it was Surrey who restored their advantage, this time through Tayo Ogedengbe and Lacey James to increase the arrears to 10. Lashley would score inside for TSK as the half wound down but it was Scorchers captain Ogedengbe, who connected on the prayer from half court to give his side a 32-43 advantage at the break.

Jackman and Smith set about trying to trim the deficit early in the third as they kick started a 10-4 run for the visitors to bring them within five points at 42-47. However Richards and Hildreth kept the scoreboard ticking for the home side and they were back up 10 by the four-minute mark of the third, 46-56.

It was back and forth to close the quarter as Richards continued to cause problems inside for the Scorchers but Lashley would also answer at the other end for TSK. Yet another buzzer-beater for Surrey meant they would go in 54-66 to the good with 10 minutes to play.

Surrey pushed the lead to 14 to start the fourth but Jackman and Smith responded instantly to keep the gap at just 10, this would be short lived though as former Kestrel, Caylin Raftopoulos, connected on a late clock three to bring the arrears back to 13. Kestrels showed no signs of going away though and Smith got to his right hand to connect on a lay up.

Just when Kestrels looked as though they may have one final run left, five timely points from Ogedengbe would give Scorchers a 67-82 lead with just over three minutes to play. Arrival hit a pair of threes and Kestrels held Surrey scoreless for those final three minutes but couldn’t trim the gap to anymore than nine, losing out 82-73.

TSK interim head coach Jack O’Keeffe said: “We are obviously extremely disappointed to be knocked out of the competition but were under no illusions we needed to be at our very best this evening to over come a really talented Surrey side.

"I’m proud of the guys for showing the fight they did to keep us in the game until the very end, we got out matched on the back board and inside for short spells but with their BBL level size that was always going to be a huge factor.”

Kestrels were led by Jackman who had 20 points and nine rebounds whilst TSK’s American contingent, Smith and Charles, had 14 points apiece, along with Arissol who also chipped in 14.

Scorchers big man Richards led the way for them with 15 points with Hildreth and Ogedengbe chipping in 14 and 11 respectively.