Destin Lady Marlins lose a tough one on the road to Davidson Panthers

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

In a very physical game, the Destin Marlins lost a close one, 31-28, to the Davidson Panthers in girls middle school action Thursday night in Crestview. 

“It was a very physical game. A lot of bodies banging … it was tough,” said Destin Coach Susie Pierce as she walked off the court. 

Destin found themselves having to fight back time and time again. 

Destin's Ellaine Wolford puts a body on Davidson's Addison Wolfe. Destin lost the game 31-28.

Davidson took the early lead with Natalie Toney hitting a long shot followed by a 3-pointer from Klauser-Clarke. Destin finally got on the board with a shot underneath from Riley Palmer. Davidson made a free throw, then Palmer put a rebound back for two points followed by a jumper from Carson Fayard to tie the game at 6-6. 

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

Davidson’s Clarke hit a free throw, then Destin’s Anabelle Shackelford and Fayard hit back-to-back baskets to give the Marlins a 10-7 lead. By the end of the first quarter, Destin was up 11-9. 

In the second, Destin took a 19-13 lead with Fayard hitting a jumper followed by a long shot from Shackelford. Fayard hit another basket then made a steal for a quick layup. 

Destin's Ashleyn Priest tries to stop a Davidson Panther on the floor. Davidson won the game 31-28.

In the last two minutes of the first half, Davidson’s Princess Tape was fouled and hit the first of two tries, Toney made two free throws and then tossed in another basket. Destin led 19-18. 

More:Jan. 6, 2021 - Lady Marlins get running clock victory over Davidson Panthers

To start the third, Fayard had four fouls and Shackelford three. Just seconds in the period, Fayard was pegged with a charging call for her fifth. At that point, the Panthers went two work with Toney hitting a couple of inside shots for a 23-19 go ahead. Destin’s Palmer scored on an inbounds play, but the Panthers answered with a bucket. In the last minute, Palmer put a rebound back for two points, and Kaya Wolfgramm scored for the Panthers. Davidson led 27-23. 

Destin's Ellaine Wolford and Ashlyn Priest try to sandwich in Davidson's L Klauser-Clark. Destin lost 31-28.

In the fourth, Addison Wolfe scored for the Panthers then Destin got several chances at the foul line. Ellaine Wolford hit a free throw, then scored two points on a put-back basket. Avery Cowles hit a free throw as did Palmer to close it down to a 1-point game with 1:17 left to play. Forced to foul, Destin put Wolfe on the line and she hit the second of two tries for a 30-28 lead for the Panthers. With 5 seconds left, Davidson sealed it with a free throw from Toney. 

More:Carson Fayard leads Lady Marlins' attack in win over Meigs Wildcats

“It was good for our team play without Carson … it was character building,” Pierce said. Carson Fayard scored 11 points in the first half along, before fouling out in the first few seconds of the second half. 

“It was a tough tough half and we fought back and we had a chance at the end, so that’s all you can ask,” she said. 

Destin's Anabelle Shackelford goes up for a block on Davidson's L Klauser Clarke. Destin lost the game 31-28.

The players that were on the floor at the end, “did well and Riley stepped up and was a great leader for us,” Pierce said. 

Top scorer for Destin was Fayard with 11 points, followed by Palmer with nine and Shackelford with four.  

Toney led the Panthers with 15 points.  

Destin was four of 18 from the free-throw line, with 10 misses in the fourth quarter alone. 

Davidson was 10 of 24 from the line.