It was too little, too late for the Destin Lady Marlins as they lost 26-19 to the Meigs Wildcats in middle school basketball action Thursday night in Shalimar.



After falling behind 12-5 in the first quarter, the Marlins managed to close the gap by the half at 14-12.



"We battled back in the second quarter," said Destin Coach Ben Kackley. "But they got a lot of second shots."



In the second quarter, Destin's Brooke Manis hit a free throw, then Kennedi Laughlin sank two for a 12-8 game. Meigs scored its only basket of the period on a shot from Mikenesia Waters. Destin answered with back-to-back baskets from Aurione Rawls for a two-point game at the half.



The third quarter was the downfall of the Marlins as they gave up seven points, while failing to get a shot to fall.



In the fourth, Destin turned it up a notch and started taking the ball inside drawing fouls. The Marlins managed to hit for seven points, while giving up five to Meigs.



"We tried to speed it up at the end," Kackley said. "One thing about this group, they do not quit. They play hard to the end."



Top scorer for Destin was Laughlin with six points. Manis hit for five, while Rawls and Madelyn Kelly each scored four.



Yvonne Ford scored seven points for Meigs.



Earlier in the week, Destin lost to Ruckel 28-21.



At the end of the third quarter, Ruckel led 19-16.



Destin went flat in the fourth. However, "they scored on almost every possession," Kackley said of Ruckel.



"We've been close all season. We've got to learn to put together four quarters," he said.



Up next for Destin is a 6:30 p.m. game Monday at home against St. Mary's.