Creon Raftopoulos’s new-look Scorchers began pre-season with a strong performance but ultimately defeat against the touring Mustangs.
Debutant Skyler White starred for the home side, with 17 points and six defensive rebounds, as Scorchers gave Creon ample cause for positivity.
It had been Tayo Ogedengbe who notched his team’s first points of 2019-20, with a three from out on the wing, as they led from the front in Q1. Two quick counters briefly brought the Mustangs level midway through the opening period, but Scorchers forged back in front early in Q2.
Mustangs, though, steadily surged back and when Keith Smith went coast-to-coast, with 3:01 remaining in the half, the Californians led for the first time.
Chip Flanigan drew Scorchers back level from the line as the half drew to a close, but momentum was with the Mustangs. They forged into a 14-point lead within six minutes of the restart but a much-needed triple from Tayo steadied the Scorchers’ ship and sparked a comeback of their own.
Wilkins created his own three-point play with fine work under the net, and Adrian Kuyinu’s three-pointer from out wide reduced the deficit to 10 in the final seconds of the third period.
Caylin Raftopoulos added another triple at the start of the final quarter, and White brought Scorchers back to within five with six minutes remaining.
That, though, was as close as Scorchers got in the final quarter, and Colby Rogers’ three-pointer sealed victory for the Mustangs.
They continue their London tour into the weekend, whilst Scorchers host B. Braun Sheffield Sharks at the Sports Park Arena on Sunday – tickets are available here.