Lady Marlins lose battle to Pryor

Tina Harbuck
tharbuck@thedestinlog.com

In a hard-fought competition, the Destin Marlins came up short at the end falling 48-41 to the undefeated Pryor Pirates in girl’s middle school action Tuesday night in Fort Walton Beach.

“They fought,” said Destin Coach Susie Pierce. “My kids competed so hard … that’s the hardest I’ve ever seen them play.”

For the most part, the Pirates stood head taller than most of the Destin Marlins

“(It was like) David and Goliath,” Pierce said. “We were the little David.”

The first half of play was very physical with 25 fouls being called. Destin had 14, while the Pirates had 11.

In the first quarter, Pryor jumped out to a 13-2 lead with all but two points coming from the foul line. In the last minute, Destin’s Anna Kimball got inside for two points, and then Pryor picked up a basket and a foul shot. In the final seconds, Kimball added two more points. Pryor led 16-6 at the buzzer.

In the second quarter, Destin closed it down a bit outscoring the Pirates 12 to nine. Kimball was able to get inside for three shots off the glass, plus three from the foul line for nine points. Carson Fayard picked up two points on an outside shot and Ava Smith picked up a free throw. Destin trailed 25-18 at the break.

After the half, Destin came out with a vengeance. Jessica Pierce scored a bucket and then Kimball put a rebound back for two points. Seconds later, Kimball scored on an in-bounds pass to close it down to a one-point game. Pryor scored off a rebound, and then Kimball put up another inside shot to stay within one of the Pirates.

Pryor scored two quick baskets before Kimball and Smith hit back-to-back baskets. Pryor’s Elesi Simmons was fouled and hit the second of two tries. Destin, not letting up, came back with Kimball putting a rebound back up for two points and a 32-32 game with 1:34 to go in the period. Pryor’s Simmons scored two baskets back-to-back, but Kimball kept it close with a shot from the paint in the final seconds. Pryor led 36-34 at the end of three.

In the final stanza, Pryor came out and scored five points quick off a couple of turnovers and a free throw. Destin finally got on the board in the last three minutes with Kimball working inside for two points. The Pirates made a couple of more steals for layups, and Kimball added two more points for the Marlins.

In the last 40 seconds, Pryor hit a free throw and a basket while Destin’s Fayard finished up the scoring with a 3-pointer.

Leading all scorers for the game was Destin’s Kimball with 29 points. Elesi Simmons scored 25 for Pryor and Penny Simmons tossed in 19.

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