Lady Marlins rally in second half for big win over Shoal River

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

After a crazy first half, the Destin Marlins pulled it together and beat the Shoal River Mustangs 38-16 in girls middle school basketball action Tuesday night in Crestview. 

Destin jumped out to a 12-1 lead in the first quarter with Ashlyn Priest and Carson Fayard each scoring four points. But then they went flat in the second period, scoring only two points. 

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“I think we fell asleep in the second quarter,” said Destin Coach Susie Pierce as she walked off the court. 

“The first quarter we got all our points from our diamond press,” she said. 

Then they couldn’t seem to sink a shot in the second. 

Destin's Ashlyn Priest passes the ball inside against the Shoal River Mustangs. Priest scored six points in the 38-16 win over Shoal River.

“This is a tough gym to shoot in because of the background behind the goal,” Pierce said. 

She said some of the players were getting frustrated but they talked about it at the half and made adjustments. 

The Marlins decided to take the ball to the hole. 

“Once we got a bucket it allowed us to get into our press,” Pierce said. 

In the third, Shoal scored first on a bucket from Jacoria Brown. But then Destin’s Fayard got the ball inside for a basket. Shoal came back with a bucket. 

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In the last three minutes of the third, Destin put up eight points. Fayard had a steal for a quick layup, then Anabelle Shackelford followed suit with a steal for a bucket. Fayard worked her way on the baseline for two points, then Riley Palmer hit a little jumper from the side for a 24-9 lead at the buzzer. 

Destin's Riley Palmer tries to keep the ball away from Shoal River's Jacoria Brown. Palmer scored four points in the 38-16 win.

In the fourth, Destin continued to pour in the points. Down the stretch, Fayard, Shackelford and Avery Cowles each nailed a long shot while Justine Zamorya hit one inside. Destin finished the quarter with 14 points to Shoal’s seven. 

“They calmed down and finished strong. It was a good win,” Pierce said.