The Destin Marlins got off to a great start but then struggled, falling 50-34 to the visiting Shoal River Mustangs in boy’s middle school basketball action Thursday night.

In the first quarter, Destin fell behind early 10-3, but then rallied putting up 10 consecutive points for the lead. Tobias Thompson and Aiden Garrity hit back-to-back layups, then Thompson was fouled and hit the first of two free throws. Jason Galvan drilled a 3-pointer and then Thompson put a rebound back for two points and a 13-10 lead. In the final seconds of the quarter, Shoal River’s Jayson Osborne hit one from the paint, but Destin still led 13-12 at the buzzer.

In the second quarter, Destin couldn’t stop the Mustangs as they outscored them 12-4 with Demarque Gorde leading the Mustangs with six points. Galvan scored all four points for Destin. Shoal River led 24-17 at the half.

In the third, Shoal River made a couple of runs on the Marlins. The first came a couple of minutes in with the Mustangs cashing in on steals for a quick seven points. Seconds later, the Mustangs made another six-point run with Osborne, Gorde and David Loggins each contributing. By the end of the third, Shoal River was up 43-26.

Destin made a surge in the fourth quarter, putting up eight points to the Mustangs seven. Aiden Garrity scored six of the eight for Destin.

For the game, Destin was led by Garrity and Thompson with 11 points each. Galvan scored seven and Luke Edelman five.

Scoring in double digits for the Mustangs were Gorde with 18, Osborne with 13, and Loggins with 11.

Up next for Destin is a 5 p.m. game Tuesday at home against St. Mary’s.