Destin Marlins secure a win for the holidays

Tina Harbuck

Before the Christmas break the Destin Marlins reigned in a 31-28 overtime win over the Emerald Coast Stingrays in middle school boys basketball action in Santa Rosa Beach.

“It’s good to go home with a taste of a win in your mouth,” said Destin Coach Brian McDaniel, noting the team will have about an 18 to 20 day break.

“I thought we had some kids step up tonight. Kobe Babin had some hustle plays and he scored well,” McDaniel said.

Babin led the Marlins with 16 points.

McDaniel also made mention of Jamison Brundidge, who played injured through the whole overtime period.

“And Charles Pearson was just the man on the boards tonight,” he said.

In addition to getting the rebounds, Perason dumped back in six points for the Marlins.

In the first quarter, Destin stepped out to a 6-3 lead with Pearson, Babin and Brundidge each scoring.

Tyler Mitchum, who finished the night as high-point player for Emerald Coast, scored all three points for the Stingrays in that first period.

In the second quarter, the Marlins continued to stay a step ahead of the Stingrays scoring seven to their six. Babin added two baskets and Benton Henderson nailed a 3-pointer for Destin. Mitchum hit a basket and a pair of freethrows, while Cody Hill scored a basket for the Rays.

Midway of the third quarter, the Stingrays edged ahead with Hill scoring and then Mitchum hitting his first of three 3s on the night for a 16-15 lead. Destin answered with a jumper from Babin. Emerald Coast missed the front end of a one-and-one try and Babin came back down with another shot from the paint for a 19-16 lead. But with 8 seconds left on the clock, Mitchum drained a 3-pointer for the Rays to even the score at 19-19 going in to the fourth.

Fifteen seconds into the fourth, Mitchum drilled another 3-pointer for a 22-19 lead. Destin came back with Jackson Smith scoring, followed by a driving shot off the glass by Babin for a three-point play and a two-point lead. The Rays got the advantage back with Carson Brown swishing a 3-pointer. Seconds later, Cade Watson was at the line and made the second of two tries for a 26-24 game. Destin answered with a putback shot from Pearson for the tie.

In the three minute overtime, Destin got on the board first with Pearson putting another rebound back for two points. Not long after, Brundidge was fouled and hit both shots. Babin also drew a foul and made one for a 31-26 lead. With 10 seconds left, Ethan Karian hit a layup.

Emerald Coast had one final shot, but Destin was able to get a hand on for the win.

“In the last possession we went man to man which we hardly ever do, but they did a good job at getting a hand up on the shot,” McDaniel said.

“It’s always good to go home with a W,” he said, noting they got blown out by about 30 the last time they played the Stingrays.

Up next for Destin is a 5 p.m. game Jan. 7 at home against the Shoal River Mustangs.