‘Missed opportunities’ cost ‘scrappy’ Marlin boys

Destin's Ryan Romair goes up for a shot in the second half against the Shoal River Mustangs. Romair scored eight points in the 50-24 loss.

Missed shots and opportunities were the downfall of the Destin Marlins Thursday night as they lost 50-24 to the visiting Shoal River Mustangs of Crestview in boy’s middle school basketball.

"We came out the first half and had a lot of missed opportunities," said Destin Coach Ron Griffiths.

In the first half, the Marlins were outscored 19-8

"We were not aggressive enough … very passive and not looking to take shots," Griffiths said.

In the first quarter, Shoal River put four points on the board before Destin ever got a shot to fall. Chase Hurt dumped in a basket at the 3:13 mark for the Marlins. Shoal River took the ball inside time and time again with Marcus Purcell hitting two layups and Jack Corbin one. Destin scored one last time in the first period on a long shot from Nick Sherer. In the last minute Shoal River hit a couple of free throws for a 12-4 lead a the buzzer.

In the second quarter, Destin's Ryan Romair scored first. However, the Mustangs followed up with four points. The Marlins scored one last time on a shot from Hurt, but missed four from the foul line in the last three minutes. Shoal River tossed in a basket and foul shot for a 19-8 lead at the half.

At the start of the third, Destin came out with a vengeance and took the ball to the net with Romair, Hurt, Sherer and Brady Ooten putting points on the board to close it down to a five-point game. The Mustangs called a timeout and regrouped. In the last four minutes of the third, Shoal River outscored Destin 13 to 2.

In the fourth, the Mustangs continued to ride over the Marlins, putting 16 more points on the board, while Destin tossed in six.

"I was proud of the way we came out at the start of the third," Griffiths said. "We had a lot more intensity and made some turnovers and had some fast breaks. But we finally got caught in foul trouble." Hurt fouled out late in the third quarter.

Nevertheless, Griffiths is still proud of his team.

"They are a fun group to watch … they are a scrappy bunch," he said.

Top scorers for Destin were Romair with eight points and Hurt with six.

The Mustangs were led by Purcell with 23 points.

Destin was 10 of 23 from the foul line and Shoal River 10 of 22.