Scorchers endured another narrow, late defeat as Plymouth Raiders edged a 96-91 victory in a game in which both sides appeared to take decisive strides towards victory.
Scorchers had started strongly, opening with a four-point run which, even though Raiders immediately matched it, the visitors used as a platform for a domineering spell. When Skyler White earned himself a three-point play from the line, Scorchers were up by seven, but soon Rashad Hassan was claiming a to-point first quarter haul for himself and Raiders forced themselves level after 10 minutes.
Once again, Scorchers forged in front at the start of Q2, as local lads Henry Wilkins and Jeremy Nanton-Hamel – with his first ever BBL points – earned a nine-point advantage. The run, though, switched to Raiders and in just over a minute they were back on terms as Wilcher’s own three restored parity and Hassan put them ahead for the first time in the game.
Wilkins landed another three to draw Scorchers level in the closing stages of the half, and only Hassan’s buzzer beater separated the teams as they headed back to the locker room.
Raiders built upon that at the onset of Q3 but Scorchers’ accuracy from deep kept them in touch, as Wilkins and Skyler White landed important triples, the former bringing the scores back level at 60 apiece with 3:51 left in the quarter. Wilkins even extended the Scorchers lead to four with 90 seconds left, but Raiders once more fought back and shaded the period by a single point.
So it continued into the fourth, both teams nudging ahead only to be pegged back. It was 91-91 with 29 seconds remaining, thanks to James Hawthorne’s superb rebound dunk from a play in which he had started as a distant second favourite to win the loose ball.
That, though, was the last time Scorchers lay claim to a positive result, as Josh Wilcher landed all 3 shots from the line – gifted to him by Coach Creon’s second technical foul – and Raiders were able to claim their first win of the season.
Henry Wilkins: 21pts, 1 reb
Skyler White: 20pts, 8 reb, 1 ast
Tayo Ogedengbe: 14pts, 2 reb, 2 ast
Marcus White: 14pts, 4 reb, 3 ast
James Hathorne: 13pts, 6 reb, 1 ast
Chip Flanigan: 6pts, 6 reb, 7 ast
Next stop for Scorchers is the Copper Box Arena, next Sunday, as they defend their BBL All-Stars Championships title. Tickets are available below.