Once the Destin Lady Marlins got rolling there was no stopping them as they cruised to a 43-23 victory over the visiting Bruner Spartans in middle school basketball action Thursday evening.


“We had a slow start, but we rallied and got into our press,” said Destin Coach Susie Pierce. “We were getting shots ... just not finishing them.”


Plus the Spartans came out with a different look on defense than the Marlins are accustomed to.


“They came out and played man and we probably haven’t seen man in three years,” Pierce said. “But the kids adjusted to it ... it was great.”


Bruner jumped out to a 7-2 lead on the Marlins. However, in the last three minutes of the first quarter, Destin’s Anna Kimball, who finished the night with 22 points, put three shots on the board before Bruner hit another basket. In the last few seconds, Destin’s Anabelle Shackelford hit an outside shot to give the Lady Marlins a 10-9 edge at the buzzer.


In the second quarter, the Marlins found their rhythm and outscored the Spartans 21-3. Kimball scored 10 points on shots off the glass, while Jessica Pierce drove the paint for four points. Carson Fayard knocked down a jump shot. Ellaine Wolford scored a basket and a free throw and Ava Smith picked up two points. Destin led 31-12 at the half.


In the third quarter, Destin continued to take it to the Spartans. Kimball and Smith hit back to back inside shots. Smith came back with one more to give the Marlins a 25-point lead and a running clock on the game. By the end of the period, Destin was up 43-13.


In the fourth quarter, Destin subbed a lot of players and Bruner put up 10 points.


Up next for the 2-0 Marlins is a 5 p.m. Dec. 3 game at Pryor Middle School in Fort Walton Beach.