Connor Edwards scored 20 points in a starring role in his first starting game for Maitland, but it wasn't enough to overcome the Sutherland Sharks who were simply too big.
The younger of the Edwards brothers shared the limelight with older brother Jack and Lachie Beavis, but inexperience and a much bigger opposition finally prevailed and the Mustangs suffered an 87-78 loss at Maitland Federation Centre on Saturday night.
Connor had six rebounds and three assists to go with his 20 points, Jack finished with 19 points and nine assists and Beavis had 17 points, five rebounds and three assists.
"Connor played great, he was good in youth league as well. Twenty points in his first start is a huge feat. He has such a good shot," Mustangs coach Luke Boyle said
"Connor's a good point guard but we could have exploited it more if we had another point guard. We are forcing people to play out of position.
"Jack usually plays a bit of a back-up point guard but he is better at running the wings because he is so quick.
"We pulled Beavo in there last night as well but then again it has an impact on productivity for him as well."
It was another huge effort by under-sized duo Josh Clifford and Sam Huggins in trying to counter the Sharks' size advantage.
"They play so hard, but they are playing under-sized. They are banging and banging and banging, throwing their bodies around all night but last night their opposition was pretty big," Boyle said in admiration of Clifford and Huggins.
"While you can contest a shot and get a hand up, when the guy you are playing on is another three or four inches on you their reach is just too long."
Boyle said the Mustangs missed injured-skipper Terrell Turner's game management in countering the size difference between the two teams.
Already low on experience and depth, Turner is likely to be out for the season with an Achilles tendon injury and Sharif Watson is still three to four weeks off returning from an ankle injury.
"Even if we only had Terrell I think we would have won," Boyle said.
"It's not a massive fix it's just getting people to pick up where Terrell left off.
"There's things in transition where we come down and there were no big guys in the key but our other guys were reluctant to penetrate like Terrell is and take the opportunity for getting a lay-up.
"Part of that is as a young kids you feel like 'I'm new in the team kind of want to play things safe, don't want to turn the ball over or get blocked', but as the coach I need them to do it.
"They are probably just playing it too safe and that was the feedback to them last night.
"I said to them 'I get that you are young, but you've got talent and I need you to start to play like you normally play in your own league'."
Boyle said he was extremely proud of his young team, particularly with the youth team members backing up two hours after playing 30 minutes of game time already.
But he stressed to continue to improve they had to be disappointed with every loss and learn from their mistakes.
"It's a pretty heavy load but they do it pretty well. Their fitness is very good. In youth league they just ran Sutherland off their feet. By the end of it you could see Sutherland struggling to make it up the end of the court while our guys were maintaining the pace," he said.
"You have to be disappointed with a loss because you will start to treat it as the norm if you don't and not get better. But they have to be proud about how well they have been competing each week."
The Mustangs defeated the Sharks 102-91 in a high-scoring youth men's game. Kaia Isaac led the way with 23 points, Connor Edwards scored 20, Riley Markovich 18 and Beavis 15.
Maitland's youth women had an emphatic 97-60 win over the Sharks. Rachel Williams led the scoring with 20, Hannah Griffin landed 19 and Mila Wawszkowicz scored 18 in a terrific team performance.