A failure to handle the press was the demise of the Destin Marlins Thursday night as they lost 30-10 to the visiting Shoal River Mustangs in girl’s middle school basketball action.
"When they press, we've got to beat that. They really struggle under pressure," said Destin Coach Ben Kackley.
Nevertheless, he was proud of their effort.
"I thought they played throughout the game. They hustled the whole time," he said. "I think the future looks bright. We have no where to go but up. But we've got to convert when we have the opportunities."
Thursday night the Marlins struggled to convert and the Shoal River jumped out to a 17-4 led in the first half. The Mustangs put six points on the board before Destin's Mckenzie Stinson got a shot to fall. In the last two minutes, Shoal River scored a basket and a free throw for a 9-2 lead at the buzzer.
In the second quarter, Destin missed four opportunities from the foul line and didn't score until the last 30 seconds on a shot from Brook Manis.
In the third, the Mustangs continued to ride over the Marlins putting up eight points to their two. Stinson scored the lone basket for the Marlins.
In the final stanza of the game, Destin put four points on the board in the first three minutes on a foul shot and a basket from Manis and a free throw from Aurione Rawls. Shoal River wrapped up the quarter with five points and a 30-10 victory.
For the game, Destin was two of eight from the foul line while Shoal River hit six of 19 tries.