Destin Marlins run into road block, fall to Ruckel Rams

Tina Harbuck

The heart was there, but not the execution, as the Destin Marlins lost 44-19 to the Ruckel Rams in girl’s middle school basketball action Wednesday evening in Niceville.

“We’ve been working on several things such as a press break in practice that were just not executed properly,” said Destin Coach Kersten Bowman.

“Sam Sherer, Taylor Klosterman, and Maya Sherwood are all tremendous ball handlers, but they must play together in order to beat a tough press and defensive system.

“We also have several first-time players on the team, so this will just take some time and actual game play in order to get a feel for the speed of the game. They are young, but they all have tremendous passion and heart for the game,” Bowman said.

For example, she said first-time player Mae Genobili and Avery Pohl “played their most aggressive game of the season,” against Ruckel.

“The future is bright for us,” she said.

But against Ruckel, the Marlins had a tough time.

“Ruckel did a wonderful job in the post and moved the ball extremely well on offense. Not only did they execute their press break flawlessly, their half court trap defense was a force to be recognized,” Bowman said.

In the first quarter, Ruckel outscored the Marlins nine to two with Klosterman scoring the only goal in the last three minutes.

In the second quarter, Destin was able to break out of the trap a couple of times with Sherer driving through for a couple of layups and Genobili and Sherwood making baskets. Destin trailed 24-11 at the half.

After a couple of free throws and a basket from Ruckel, Sherer hit a long one and then took one inside for the Marlins to start the third quarter. In the last three minutes of the period, Ruckel reeled off seven consecutive points and Klosterman hit one for Destin for a 35-17 game.

In the final stanza, Ruckel outscored Destin nine to two.

Top scorer for Destin was Sherer with eight points. Klosterman scored six.

Ruckel had 11 players put points on the board with Rachel Smith leading the way with 13 points. Emily Osborne added nine while Sarah James and Angie Dzdoa each scored four.

Destin doesn’t play again until after the first of the year. They are scheduled to play at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 7 against Shoal River.