Eighth grader Kennedi Laughlin fired up the nets for 16 points to lead the Destin Marlins in a 28-16 win over the visiting St. Mary's Angels in middle school basketball action Monday night.
Laughlin had a big first and third quarter, putting up six in the first and eight in the third.
"Our eighth graders really stepped up today," said Destin Coach Ben Kackley.
Eighth graders, Laughlin, Sidney Rogers, Mollie Seeling and Elizabeth Stepp were honored before the game with flowers and balloons.
"Our defense was good and our press was working well," Kackley said. "And our shots were going in."
In the first quarter, Destin put up seven points and shut out the Angels.
In the second, Aurione Rawls scored a basket for Destin followed by a putback basket from Laughlin. In the last four minutes of the period, St. Mary's finally got on the board with a basket from Bre Bradley. Breanna Bradley hit a free throw for a 11-3 game at the half.
In the third quarter, it was almost as if everything Destin tossed up went in the hole. After St. Mary's Killian Casey scored a basket, Destin went on a 10-point scoring spree. Rawls scored a basket and a free throw, then Laughlin hit four baskets in a row. St. Mary's scored to goals, then Destin made one last free throw for a 23-9 game going into the final stanza.
In the fourth, Destin's Brooke Manis made a couple of baskets on assists from Sidney Rogers and Madelyn Kelley. Rawls picked up the other point on a free throw.
For the game, Laughlin had 16 points, while Rawls hit for seven and Manis scored five.
Bre Bradley scored six points for St. Mary's, while Parker Gatlin hit for four.