Destin plays through nerves for run away victory over Davidson

It didn’t take long for the nerves to dissipate as the Destin Marlins hustled up and down the court to put the Davidson Panthers away 55-29 in middle school boys basketball Monday evening in Destin.


“We were a little nervous when we first got out there, but then when you play hard the nerves disappear,” said Destin Coach Bob Davies. “I don’t know that I’ve ever seen kids play that hard. These kids just don’t ever quit.


“Now it doesn’t hurt to have Fayard and Newell and Issac out there. Those three guys never lost their cool and they played smart,” he added.


Coach was referring to Asa Newell, who led the Marlins with 25 points, followed by Maddax Fayard with 19. Isaac Hancey, a recent move-in, knocked down seven points.


Davies spoke highly of several of the players.


“Eric Scott came out of football and I’ve never seen him play, but he’s getting loose balls, rebounds and finding ways to get open layups,” Davies said. “I thought the Harnish kids played hard and helped us out a lot and Andrew Atkins a seventh grader got his first start.


“They all did great,” he added.


In the first quarter, Davidson drew first blood with a bucket from Issac Thomas. Destin followed with a jumper from Fayard. Two minutes later, Davidson finally got another shot to fall before Destin finished up the last three minutes with 10 consecutive points. Newell hit two inside buckets as well as a 3-pointer. Fayard finished up the run with a free throw and another jumper for a 12-4 lead.


In the second, Destin continued to outgun the Panthers putting up 20 points to their seven. Newell had four baskets inside the paint as well as another 3-pointer. Hancey knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and a free throw. Destin led 32-11 at the break.


In the third quarter, Destin’s Fayard continued to drive the ball inside for eight points, while Newell hit his third 3-pointer and a couple of putback baskets for seven. Scott hit a layup late in the period for Destin as well as a free throw. Destin led 50-28 at the end of three.


In the fourth quarter, Destin’s Fayard scored on a rebound and then tossed in a 3-pointer to start a running clock on the Panthers, due to a 25-point lead. Davidson scored one last point from the free-throw line.