WITH their Northern Basketball League title defence in tatters, skipper Gareth France led the Kendal charge as the Warriors secured second-place with a convincing win against Carlisle.
The visitors arrived with a full squad, intent on upsetting Kendal’s ambitions to finish the season strongly and avenging their opponent’s over-time victory the last time the two sides met.
Early points from France and Phil Mason set Kendal on their way although Carlisle were allowed to keep pace, largely as a result of the home side’s lacklustre defensive performance.
With the scores tied at 16-16 at the end of the first quarter, Kendal were a different proposition in the second as the Warriors forced a number of turnovers.
This increased intensity led to a number of fast breaks with Matt Basedow looking to take full advantage and Kevin Mason proving a difficult presence for Carlisle to nullify.
Mason scored points around the basket while France continued his fine shooting form from further out, with Kendal limiting Carlisle to five points in the second quarter to lead 39-21 at the halfway stage.
The third quarter continued in a similar vein as the Warriors rearguard again stifled the Panthers offence, limiting them to just seven points.
Basedow and Phil Mason were the main beneficiaries of this, scoring a number of points on the fast break to ensure Kendal maintained a healthy 51-28 lead at the end of the third quarter.
The home side were playing with a freedom rarely displayed this season as Kon Arfanis scored early Kendal points at the start of the fourth.
Keith McInnes was rebounding well at both ends of the court as the hosts controlled the game, with Mike Smith adding his own points while also creating opportunities for others.
Kevin Mason linked well with Smith to batter the Carlisle defence and increase his personal points tally as Kendal ran out comfortable winners.
G. France 25, P. Mason 14, K. Mason 13, M. Basedow 6, K. Arfanis 5, M. Smith 5, K. McInnes 2