In a game that was deadlocked six times, the Destin Marlins lost in the final seconds 34-32 to the Meigs Wildcats in boy’s middle school basketball action Thursday night in Shalimar.
Holding a 32-31 lead with 1:45 to play, Meigs' Kellyn Plantz went to the foul line and hit the second of two tries to deadlock the game at 32-32.
Seconds later, Destin fouled another Meigs player. Wildcat Issac Hunter went to the line and hit the second shot to put the Wildcats on top 33-32. Playing aggressive, Destin again fouled a Wildcat. Hunter made another free throw with 40 seconds left in the game to go up 34-32.
Destin got the ball to half court and called a time out with 33 seconds left to play. After the break, Destin brought the ball in and worked it around the perimeter with Luke Edelman finally making a move toward the basket. Edelman was charged with a foul and the Wildcats got the ball back. Destin forced to foul put Hunter on the line again, but he missed on both tries. The Marlins couldn’t get a shot to fall and ran out of time.
“They played their hearts out,” said Destin Coach Brent Ackers. “We’ve just got to go back to the drawing board and keep playing.”
In the first quarter, the scoring went back and forth with the Marlins working it in to Tobias Thompson for eight points and Jason Galvan knocking down a 3-pointer. At the buzzer the game was deadlocked at 13-13.
At the start of the second quarter, Meigs broke the tie on an inside shot from Nick Ruiz. However, Destin finished the first half strong with Aiden Garrity knocking down a 3-pointer followed by a shot from the paint by Edelman. Garrity scored again to give Destin a 5-point lead, their largest of the game. In the last minute, Meigs Cameron Rowell scored for a 20-17 game at the half.
In the third quarter, Meigs got the advantage back with points from the foul line. In the last two minutes, Destin went back on top with Thompson making a shot from underneath. Meigs Chris Cuthrell hit a 3, and Destin answered with a 3-pointer from Galvan and a foul shot from Thompson for a 26-24 lead at the end.
Destin maintained the lead in the fourth until the last two minutes when they lost it at the foul line.
Top scorers for Destin were Thompson with 11 and Edelman with eight.
Plantz led Meigs with10 points.
Up next for Destin is a 5 p.m. game Tuesday at Ruckel Middle School in Niceville.