Lady Marlins take it to Ruckel Rams

Tina Harbuck
Destin's Samantha Sherer passes the ball outside against the Ruckel Rams. Sherer was high-point player for the Destin Marlins with 17 points in the 42-22 middle school victory Thursday night in Destin. [TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG]

From the get-go, the Destin Marlins dominated on the court Thursday night posting a 42-22 win over the visiting Ruckel Rams of Niceville in middle school girl’s basketball action.

“Our press was the difference in the game,” said Destin Coach Susie Pierce.

Pierce said they have been working on two presses and on Thursday they put them to use.

“It confuses the other teams,” she said.

The Lady Marlins pressured the Rams from the start and cashed in for quick baskets taking a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

Izabelle Adams scored the first Destin basket, and then Samantha Sherer put a rebound back for two points. Seconds later, Taylor Klosterman made a steal and turned it into a quick layup. Rylee Brown put a rebound back for two. And before the Rams could get the ball to midcourt, Klosterman made another steal for a quick layup. Sherer nailed a long shot and Klosterman finished out the quarter with a basket for the 14-0 start.

In the second quarter, Destin continued to jam the Rams. Sherer scored on a baseline shot. Two minutes later, Ruckel finally got on the board with a shot from Marissa Tomi. Destin answered with six points. Sherer drove the lane for a layup, and then Brown picked up a foul and hit both shots from the line. Seconds later, Brown was back inside for another bucket and a 22-2 lead. In the last three minutes, Ruckel scored two baskets and Destin picked up one point from the free-throw line. Destin led 23-6 at the half.

In the third quarter, Destin put up 12 points to Ruckel’s nine. Brown got things started with a bucket then, Klosterman nailed a 3-pointer. Ruckel scored a free throw and Grace Langston made a long shot. Kaylin Winter picked up a foul and hit the second of two free throws for the Marlins. Ruckel scored, and then Destin went on a six-point scoring spree with Sherer making two baskets and Brown one. Ruckel finished up the period with a basket and two free throws from Langston.

In the final stanza, Destin put up five quick points with Sherer making a steal for a layup and then coming right back with another shot. Ashelyn Heydt scored on a free throw for the Marlins for a 40-15 lead. In the last three minutes, Ruckel scored seven and Destin’s Jessica Pierce hit two final shots from the free-throw line.

“Taylor (Klosterman) played fantastic today,” Pierce said. “She had a full game. She played great defensively and she made some buckets and she got steals. I think she was a key to the game today.”

Klosterman scored nine points for Destin.

Another standout was Sherer with 17 points.

“She’s such a phenomenal athlete, she’s just fun to watch,” Pierce said.

Brown also hit double digits for the Marlins with 10 points.

As for the win over Ruckel, the coach was pleased.

“That’s good, but I’m not really concentrating on the competition. I’m just concerned about what we do … execution was our goal today. I really don’t care who is in the other uniform,” she said.

With the win the Marlins move to 4-2 on the season. Up next is a 6:30 p.m. game Tuesday against the Davidson Panthers of Crestview.