Destin Marlins win at the line in OT

Tina Harbuck
Destin's Luke Edelman moves the ball inside against the Meigs Wildcats. Edelman scored eight points in the 45-44 middle school victory. [TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG]

After missing a couple of free throws earlier, Jaden Newell hit the two that counted most to put the Destin Marlins over the top for a 45-44 overtime win over the visiting Meigs Wildcats in boy’s middle school basketball action.

Down by one point with 9 seconds left on the clock in overtime, Newell stepped up to the line and drained two shots to give the Marlins their first win of the season.

“We fought hard tonight. We just kept fighting until the end,” said an out of breath Destin Coach Brent Aker. “I’m just so proud of them. And Jaden came up at the end with the two big free throws.

“I’m like sweating … but such and exciting game,” Aker said.

But before the winning free throws, Destin had several guys step up.

“Luke Edelman stepped up big for us tonight and gave us some good play and Tobias Thompson came up big for us until he fouled out.”

Top scorers for Destin were Thompson and Luke Bilger each with 12 points. Edelman checked in at the end of the night with eight points, as did Mason Brundidge.

To start, Meigs took an early 12-4 lead in the first quarter.

In the second, Meigs put up two more points before Destin went on a 10-point run with Brundidge hitting a fast-break layup, followed by a bucket from Thompson. Bilger nailed his first of four 3-pointers and Edelman finished it up with a free throw and a put-back basket for a tie game. The teams swapped baskets and then Meigs put up a basket and a 3-pointer to lead 21-17 at the half.

In the third quarter, the lead swapped hands three times with Meigs finishing on top 33-30. Thompson led the Marlins with three inside baskets.

In the fourth, the Wildcats scored first then Destin made another little run with Thompson and Edelman working the ball inside and Bilger drilled a 3-pointer to give Destin a 38-35 lead. Meigs came back to tie the game with a bucket and a free throw in the last minute. Destin had the chance to put it away at the line in the final seconds but missed.

In overtime, Destin outscored Meigs by one point for the win.

Scoring in double digits for Meigs was Nick Ruiz and Anbar Johnson, each with 10 points.

Destin goes into the Thanksgiving break with a 1-1 record.

“We just got to keep working and keep fighting and try to win a championship this year,” Acker said.