The Destin Marlins dominated on the courts Monday evening to post a 53-15 win over visiting St. Mary's of Fort Walton Beach in middle school basketball action.
"It was a good team win," said Destin Coach Ron Griffiths. "We moved the ball around well."
Also everybody saw playing time with 10 players putting points on the board.
"We had players that don't get a lot of floor time step up and shoot the ball," Griffiths said.
Leading the Marlin effort was Deonte Sheffield with 15 points. Skyler Shoumaker scored 11. Others putting points on the board for Destin were Brandon Kelly with five points; Kyle Ferris, Jason Shirley, Jake Bari and Justin Winter each scored four points. Jack Bruner, Chase Hurt and Nathan Sheppard each tossed in two.
In the first quarter, Destin outscored St. Mary's 8-1.
In the second, Destin went on an 18-point run, before St. Mary's hit a free throw in the last minute. Jake Bari had a steal for a quick layup followed by a couple of baskets from Sheffield. Winter put back a rebound for two points as did Shoumaker. Kelly drilled a long two-pointer, and Bruner stepped up to the line and hit two free throws. Shirley and Ferris hit back-to-back layups. St. Mary's scored one from the free-throw line, then Winter scored one last basket for Destin for a 28-2 lead at the half.
In the third quarter, Destin continued to take it to St. Mary's outscoring them 18-7. Midway of the period, Destin went on a nine-point run with Kelly starting off with a 3-pointer. Sheffield, Shoumaker and Hurt followed up with baskets for a 44-7 advantage.
St. Mary's Ziou Caines hit a long shot, then Destin's Shoumaker came back with an inside shot for a 46-9 game going into the final quarter.
With a running clock on the game, St. Mary's Caines came out in the fourth and hit a 3-pointer along with three from the free throw line. Destin finished up with Shoumaker swishing a 3-pointer, followed by a steal and a shot from Bari and Sheppard.
"We knew coming in, if we took care of business it would set up a good match up for us on Thursday against Bruner," Griffiths said. "It will be a good test for us to see how much we've improved the second half." Destin travels to Bruner in Fort Walton Beach for a 6:30 p.m. game Thursday.
Plus the win Monday guaranteed that the Marlins will play the first round of the Okaloosa County Middle School Basketball Tournament at home on Monday. Time and teams will be announced on Friday.
"We've had a great second half of the season," Griffiths said. "The guys are playing hard and getting better every game."