After leading by two at the half, the Destin Marlins fell behind quickly in the third for a 50-33 loss on the road in Crestview to the Davidson Panthers in boys' middle school basketball action Monday evening.
"We gave up too many offensive rebounds in the third quarter," said Destin Coach Ron Griffiths.
The Panthers outscored the Marlins 16-2 in the third quarter alone. Keon Voison put up six points, while Coleman Young and Rodderick Skinner each tossed in four points.
"They out-rebounded us 25 to 5 in the first half but they didn't convert. But unfortunately they did in the second half," Griffiths said. For the game, the Panthers out-rebounded the Marlins 37 to 12. "It was just too big of an obstacle to overcome," he added.
Another factor that hurt the Marlins was free throw shooting. Destin was 4 of 19 from the line while the Panthers made two of four tries.
"We've got to improve on that," Griffths said of their performance at the line.
Nevertheless, he was proud of their effort.
"I thought we came out with a lot of intensity, flying around the court. They played hard. They are a scrappy bunch, and we're not going to give up just because we had a bad half," Griffiths said.
The first half was the Marlins time to shine.
In the first quarter, the Marlins took a 4-2 lead with Brady Ooten driving the baseline for a couple of inside baskets. Skinner scored for the Panthers, then Chase Hurt hit one from the paint to put the Marlins on top again. Davidson scored three consecutive baskets for a 10-6 advantage. In the last minute, Destin's Ryan Romair and Ooten swished back to back 3-pointers for a 12-10 lead at the buzzer.
In the second quarter, the lead swapped hands four times before the Marlins finished on top. The Panthers went up 16-13 on a couple of layups, but then Destin's Romair converted on a couple of turnovers for a 17-16 go-ahead. Skinner tossed one in for Davidson, then Destin went on a six-point run. Hurt hit an inside shot followed by one from the paint by Ooten. Hurt worked his way on the baseline to put the Marlins up 23-18. In the final minute, the Panthers hit two baskets and Destin one from the free-throw line for a 24-22 advantage.
In the second half, Davidson dominated on the boards and outscored Destin 28-9.
Skinner led the Panthers with 18 points. Voison also hit double digits with 10 points, and Bouchard scored eight.
Ooten was tops for Destin with 11 points. Romair scored nine and Hurt six.
Up next for the Marlins is a 6:30 p.m. game Thursday at home against the Shoal River Mustangs from Crestview.