Destin escapes with win over Ruckel

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log
The Destin Log

It wasn’t their best, but it was still a win.

The Destin Marlins pulled off a 27-24 road victory over Ruckel Rams earlier this week in girls middle school basketball action in Niceville.

“The first game out of the gate after the holiday break is always unpredictable,” said Destin Coach Susie Pierce.

And Tuesday’s game after a two-and-a-half week break definitely fit that bill.

In the first quarter, both teams struggled to score with Destin up 4-2 and by the half the game was tied at 11-11.

“Ruckel played a triangle and two on Anna (Kimball) and Jessica (Pierce). Their goal was to keep the ball out of those players’ hands,” Pierce said. “Ruckel had a great game plan and executed it well.”

In the third quarter, the game stayed even with each team putting up five points.

In the fourth quarter, the lead swapped hands six times before Destin managed to pull off the win.

Ruckel got the advantage first on a free throw. Destin answered with Kimball scoring underneath on an inbounds play. The Rams got the lead back with an outside shot followed with two free throws for a 21-18 game.

In the next minute, Destin went to the foul line three times and made five of six shots to go up 23-21.

With 1:28 left to play, Ruckel got the lead back with a 3-pointer.

Destin’s Kimball was fouled and went to the line hitting both shots with 36 seconds left to play for a 25-24 advantage.

The Rams pushed the ball down the floor and took a shot but missed. Kimball came down with the rebound and moved it up the floor. A couple of Marlins made shots on the goal, but the one that fell was made by Riley Palmer to seal the deal.

“We pulled out the victory with solid foul shooting in the fourth by Anna, Ava and Jessica. And Riley sealed the victory with a huge bucket at the end,” Pierce said.

For the game, Destin’s Kimball led all scorers with 14 points. Smith scored five and Jessica Pierce, four.

"It was a fantastic test for us and we should be able to learn from this game, while escaping with a win,“ Pierce said.

Up next for the undefeated Lady Marlins is a road game to Crestview to take on the Shoal River Mustangs.