Marlins have good mix of size, speed on the court

Tina Harbuck
Coach Ron Griffiths works with the team on fundamental drills during a recent practice. Trying to block the coach out is Matthew Boswell.

Things are looking up for the Destin Marlin boy’s basketball team.

“We’ve had a good first week of practice,” said Destin Coach Ron Griffiths Tuesday morning. “They’re working hard and we’re trying to get as much of the playbook in before all the breaks.”

The team will have a break in practice for Thanksgiving, then a four-week break in the playing schedule around Christmas and New Years.

“But I like that I’m seeing a good mix of size,” Griffiths said.

The Marlins have four players, ranging from 5-foot-11 to 6-foot-2, which will be able to be rotated in and out.

“Having more size inside will help us out,” he said. Last year the Marlins struggled inside and missed a lot of opportunities for those second shots.

The four players in the rotation are Jason Shirley, Skyler Shoumaker, Justin Winter and Kyle Ferris.

In addition to good size, the Marlins look to be pretty quick on the floor.

“We’ve got some speed to put on the floor,” he said, singling out Deonte Sheffield, Matthew Boswell and Nick Sherer. All three were on the varsity team last year.

“Deonte brings an element to the game you can’t coach,” Griffiths said. “He’s just a natural athlete and can bring the ball from one end of the court to the other in a short amount of time.”

As for Sherer, “What he lacks in size he makes up for in determination,” Griffiths said.

Not only is Boswell quick on the floor, but also looks good at the long shot.

“Matthew Boswell and Jack Bruner have impressed me with their outside shooting,” Griffiths said.

But the Marlins still have a ways to go.

“Defense is something we have to improve on,” he said.

Right now they are working on the fundamentals of boxing out, flying to the ball and working on help-side.

“We’re just trying to improve,” Griffiths said.

Last year the Marlins finished the regular season at 5-5 and lost out in the first round of the county tournament.

“We’re looking to improve on that 5-5 mark. Our goal is to finish in the top four.”

The Marlins tip off at 6:30 p .m. on Dec. 10 at home against the Pryor Pirates.


ON THE TEAM Jake Bari Matthew Boswell Jack Bruner Brandon Kelley Deonte Sheffield Jason Shirley Kyle Ferris Justin Winter Skyler Shoumaker Chase Hurt Nicholas Sherer Nathan Sheppard