TEAM Solent Kestrels made the short trip along the south coast to face Worthing Thunder for the third time in all competitions this season and registered their most convincing performance thus far, thrashing the hosts 107-57 to move to 6-0 in NBL Division One.

The victory makes it seven wins in a row over Thunder, a streak that dates back to the Division One play-off finals in April 2019, writes Jack O'Keeffe.

Worthing took a brief six-point lead as they opened proceedings with a pair of threes from Dominic Ives and Cameron Hildreth respectively, however a Travis Charles and-1 followed by a Brendan Okoronkwo jumper shot cut the gap quickly to one.

The lead swung back and forth throughout the first quarter as both teams found their scoring rhythm, Charles and Orlan Jackman providing the impetus for TSK with a number of Thunder players getting in on the act. A 9-2 run to close the first quarter would be the difference for the visitors, capped off by an Andre Arissol triple, as Kestrels led 32-23 after one.

Thunder big man Howard Crawford opened the second with a finish inside to trim the arrears to seven but an 8-0 run to follow from TSK, capped off by an Arissol steal and two-handed dunk, forced a Worthing timeout, 40-25. Kestrels set about pushing the lead into the 20s through Jackman and Okoronkwo and despite Tom Ward scoring well for the hosts, it would be TSK who held a 21-point advantage at the break, 57-36.

The second half was all Team Solent Kestrels as they held Worthing to just 21 points in 20 minutes of basketball, in arguably their best defensive display of the season so far. Elliot Dadds and Jackman opened the scoring with back-to-back three pointers but the hosts would reply through Ward. The sides traded baskets before Kestrels turned up the defensive intensity and held Thunder scoreless over the final 5:05 of the quarter, whilst extending the lead to 29 to close out the period.

Johnathan Lashley and Arissol continued to pour in the offensive production for TSK, while Worthing were unable to find scoring opportunities until Crawford broke the almost eight-minute scoring drought from the free throw line for his side. That did not slow down the visitors though as another 9-0 run from Arissol and Lashley extended the deficit to 44. Kestrels stayed relentless throughout the final phases of the fourth and when Luke Gosney soared for the put back dunk, that would put the exclamation mark on an impressive 50-point victory, 107-57.

TSK head coach Matt Guymon was impressed with his side's efforts. He said: “This was a clinical performance from our players at both ends of the floor. We came into this game knowing how dangerous Worthing can be and wanted to make sure we set the tone early by making life difficult for their playmakers.

"I thought we got contributions across the board and was very pleased with how we shared the basketball.”

Kestrels were led by Charles's 23 points and 10 rebounds, whilst Jackman added 22 points and 10 rebounds also. Arissol had 21 points off the bench. Worthing Thunder guard Ward had 12 points to lead their scoring attack with American forward Crawford the only other player in double figures with 11.

Kestrels are due to host Derby Trailblazers this weekend.