Destin Marlins come up short against Pryor Pirates

Tina Harbuck

After trailing the entire first half, the Destin Marlins managed to tie the game midway of the third but could never gain the lead, taking a 35-32 fall to the Pryor Pirates in boy’s middle school basketball action.

“For our first game, I think we did well,” said Destin Coach Brent Acker.

“There are definitely some things that we need to clean up.”

Nevertheless, Acker was proud of the team’s effort.

“My boys played hard. They kept battling even when we got down and I appreciate that. We are going to have to continue to work hard to come out on top at the end.”

To start, Pryor jumped out to a 6-0 lead with Damar Mack hitting a basket followed by a couple from Jonathan Powell, who finished up the night with 16 points.

Destin finally got on the board in the last two minutes of the period on a shot from underneath from Tobias Thompson. Pryor’s Powell answered with a shot from the side for an 8-2 lead.

In the last 30 seconds, Destin’s Max Moran nailed a jumper and then a 3-pointer with five ticks left on the clock for an 8-7 game.

In the second quarter, Pryor pulled away with Kiel Webb hitting a 3-pointer and then Powell working his way inside for three baskets and a 17-9 advantage. Destin’s Jaden Carlisle scored and Pryor answered. In the last minute of the first half, Destin’s Mason Brundidge, who finished in double digits with 13 points, made a steal for a quick layup and a 19-13 game at the break.

At the start of the third quarter, Brundidge swished a 3-pointer up the middle and then came back a little later with a shot from the paint to close it down to a 1-point game.

Pryor’s Powell put a rebound back for 2 points, and then Destin’s Luke Bilger nailed a 3-pointer from the right side to tie the game at 21. In the last three minutes of the period, the Pirates pulled away with a couple of baskets from Jayce Brown, followed by a long shot from Jashawn Armstrong. Pryor’s Mack finished up the run hitting the second of two tries from the foul line for a 28-21 go ahead.

In the final stanza, Destin closed it down with Brundidge driving the lane and picking up fouls for a 33-29 game. Moran drilled a 3-pointer from the left corner to come within 1 with two minutes to play. Pryor scored on a layup with 15 seconds left to play. In the last few seconds, Destin made several attempts but couldn’t get a shot to fall for a 35-32 loss.

Brundidge led Destin with 13 points, while Moran hit for eight points, and Thompson six. Powell led the Pirates with 16 points.

For the game, Destin was two of seven from the free-throw line, while Pryor was two of 14.