Panthers pounce on Marlins: Davidson’s size and athleticism too much for Destin Middle

Matt Algarin
Destin’s Brandon Kelley tries to split the defense in Monday night’s game against Davidson.

The Davidson Panthers’ length was too much for the home team Monday night as the Destin Marlins dropped their first game of the season 58-24 in middle school basketball action.

“They have a lot of size,” Head Coach Ron Griffiths said. “They had three players over 6-foot tall and that created a lot of problems for us.”

The Marlins kept it close out of the gates, trailing 18-14 after the first quarter. But the Panthers started to pull away in the second quarter, capitalizing on Marlin turnovers and converting them into easy baskets.

The effort was there for the Marlins, Griffiths said.

“We played hard and I was proud of the first quarter effort,” he said. “They (Davidson) are undefeated, so we knew they were one of the better teams out there.”

At 2-1, the Marlins head into the holiday break in good shape. Griffiths said his team would get a little rest, before hitting the court to put in some “hard work” before the season gets back under way in January.

“We’re going into the break at a positive point,” he said. “We know where we stand and what we have to work on.”

The Marlins will play at Baker Jan. 10 at 5 p.m.

Girls Basketball

Destin Marlins girls’ basketball Head Coach Ben Kackely said his team played hard and showed a lot of effort in Monday’s loss to the Davidson Panthers.

“We did a great job of helping our teammates out and working together,” he said. “We are making strides to becoming more successful.”

The visiting Panthers secured a 48-17 win against the home team.

As for the game, Kackley said his team struggled a bit due to the athleticism of the Panthers, who he said like to run the floor at a quick pace.

“We were a little overmatched in athleticism and they out ran us a bit,” he said. “This is also the first time we are playing against a team that plays man to man — we’ve seen it before in practice, but never played against it.”

The Marlins are back at practice today before the holiday break.

And while there is “always work to get done” on the court, Kackley said his team makes it fun.

“This is one of those groups I’m having a great time coaching,” he said.

The Marlins next game is Jan. 10 at Baker.