Destin Marlins build on good foundation

Tina Harbuck
Destin Middle School basketball coach Bob Davies works through plays with the Marlins during a practice earlier this week. Destin will open against Davidson on Monday. [TINA HARBUCK/THE LOG]

With three returning varsity players and a promising move-in, the Destin Marlins are looking for good things on the court this season.

“I’m really excited about this group,” said Destin boys basketball Coach Bob Davies.

Last year the Marlins only returned one varsity player, this year they have three — Maddax Fayard, Asa Newell and Andrew Atkins.

“And we kind of hit the lottery with a move-in,” Davies said.

New to the Destin squad is Isaac Hancey from Utah.

“He’s a really smart player and a really good basketball player,” Davies said.

Combined with the three starters, “It gives us a real good foundation,” he said.

This year the Marlins are carrying 16 players on the varsity, 12 of those are first timers, Davies said.

Destin will also field a junior varsity team, which will have a few seventh graders in the lineup.

“But we do not have any varsity players on JV accept for three sixth graders that will be playing on both teams,” he said.

The three young men playing on both teams are Greyson Sommerville, Kevin Robertson and Gabe Escalera.

Together, Destin will have 29 players in the program.

“We had good luck last year bringing Andrew up to varsity as a sixth grader. It worked out so well, we’re doing it again this year.”

And like last year, the Marlins plan to do a little bit of everything.

“We’re going to do it all,” Davies said. “We love getting the ball inside and we have some good size with Jaden Higgs (6-foot-3) coming out of football. We love hammering it inside but you may see Maddax or Asa shoot an NBA 3 (pointer) on one possession and post up on the next.

“We’re not predisposed to pound it inside or be a perimeter team. We’re going to take what’s given to us and crash the boards like we did last year,” he added.

Davies spoke highly of Fayard and Newell.

“Maddax’s speed is completely off the chart. His ball handling is off the chart and his shooting is great,” Davies said. “As good as he was last year, he has just improved tremendously.

“And Asa’s improvement has gone through the roof,” he added of the 6-foot-2 player. “Asa is going to be a lot of fun. He’s obviously one of tallest kids but he’s going to play all five positions. But all our guys are expected to know all the positions.”

So the Marlins will be throwing out all kinds of crazy looks.

“It’s going to be rare to see the same set too many times in one game,” Davies said.

Folks will get a chance to see the Marlins in action on Monday at home at 6:30 p.m. when they take on the Davidson Panthers.

Asa Newell (captain)

Maddax Fayard (captain)

Isaac Hancey (captain)

Garrett Jacobs

Gavin Garrity

Brandon Harnish

Jaden Higgs

Price Bowen

Eric Scott

Hunter Barber

Christian Harnish

Baylen Knox

Andrew Atkins

Greyson Sommerville

Kevin Robertson

Gabe Escalera

Destin Marlin Boys Varsity