TEAM Solent Kestrels improved to 2-0 in NBL Division One, after escaping Derby with a thrilling 109-104 overtime victory.

Kestrels used a 16-11 overtime period to power them to their second win of the season, after the game ended 93-93 in regulation time, writes Jack O'Keeffe.

Both sides were able to find their scoring rhythm early as Luke Busumbru scored four straight for the visitors but only to be matched by Derby’s American point guard Ryan Bruggeman.

An 8-2 run midway through the opening period did however give Kestrels a small advantage at 15-9, but Trailblazers forward Malcolm Smith set about trimming the gap to just one point.

Some improved defensive pressure from TSK kickstarted a 6-0 run, capped off by a Max Richardson lay up, forcing coach Matt Shaw into his first timeout of the game, Kestrels up 21-14.

Andre Arissol pushed the gap to 10 post timeout, however it was Derby who finished the quarter stronger, cutting the deficit to five, 24-19 TSK.

Derby had the better of the opening phases in the second quarter and they eventually edged in front at 27-26. The lead was short lived though and in typical Kestrels fashion a big scoring run, this time to the tune of 11-2, restored the lead at 37-35 after Arissol found his way to the basket.

The visitors pushed the advantage to four through a Richardson triple and despite Bruggeman replying on the next possession, it was Kestrels who poured on the offensive output again through Arissol, now up 48-39. Derby rallied late as the half came to a close and trimmed the gap to five, 48-43 Kestrels at the break.

It was a fast start to the second half for the home side as they cut the gap to one, however that sparked TSK into gear as Kemel Archer scored six straight to put his side up 54-47.

The Kestrels' lead stayed at seven for some time as the teams traded scores for long spells, but it would be Derby who broke the back and forth, trimming the lead to two through Jonas Dieterich. A flurry of scores to close the quarter for both sides would eventually end up with Bruggeman converting on a pair of free throws, which left the score at 70-69 TSK heading into the fourth.

Again it was the Trailblazers who struck first through a Dieterich jump shot, but Archer replied for TSK to tie things up at 74 apiece. The lead swung back and forth throughout the final period of regulation, with Derby swinging the momentum with the home crowd behind them, as Bruggeman hit a tough jump shot to give his side the lead 83-82 with 3:32 to play.

The hosts pushed the advantage to five, however Arissol kept Kestrels alive with five points either side two Derby scores. Cole Gentry connected on a three-pointer with 24 seconds to play pulling Kestrels to within one and sending Bruggeman to the line for a pair.

He would oblige, pushing the lead to 93-90 and it would be Gentry who provided the heroics post timeout, bringing it back to 93 apiece. The hosts would miss the opportunity to win the game in regulation and sent the game to an extra five minutes.

Orlan Jackman and Malcolm Smith exchanged scores to open the additional period, however the following possession Smith would foul out and that proved costly for the hosts. Jackman knocked down a pair of free throws followed by a Gentry triple to push the gap to five, forcing a Derby timeout. Busumbru scored on back-to-back possessions either side of a Dieterich jump shot to keep the lead at seven with three minutes to play.

Bruggeman cut the lead down to five from the foul line but Jackman would respond with a lay up of his own to restore the seven-point advantage, with Kestrels holding on for a 109-104 win.

Kestrels coach Matt Guymon said: "This was a great game of basketball and one that I know the crowd and fans at home would have really enjoyed.

"Derby are an excellent team and a strong contender this season. Our guys showed excellent resilience again, especially in critical moments of the game.

"I thought we were able to get a number of important contributions throughout the game which is a credit to our depth this season."

Kestrels face another test on the road this weekend as they travel to Essex Rebels on Saturday (7pm).