Bruner Spartans beat Destin Marlins in spite of good effort

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

The Bruner Spartans proved to be too much for the Destin Marlins, beating them 59-32 in middle school boys' basketball.

“I was very happy with the way we played, for the most part,” said Destin Coach Bob Davies. “Our half-court offense and half-court defense were great.” 

A big problem for the Marlins was turnovers. 

More:Destin Marlins get running-clock victory over Davidson Panthers in boys basketball

“They are very long and very fast, but we have improved greatly in that area and will be ready for our last two games,” he said. 

Destin travels to Fort Walton Beach on Feb. 3 to take on the Pryor Pirates at 6:30 p.m. and then will be at home Feb. 4 at 5 p.m. against the Ruckel Rams. 

Destin's Gabe Escalera passes the ball outside against the Bruner Spartans. Destin lost 59-32.

However, Davies said Bruner really won the game by “crashing the offensive boards. We just need to continue to work on our boxing out, which is really difficult to do against teams with really athletic kids crashing from five angles.”

Bruner took an early 10-2 lead in the first three minutes; however, Destin was able to close it down to 16-9 by the end of the quarter. 

More:Destin Marlins fall to Meigs Wildcats in boys basketball action

In the second quarter, Destin narrowed Bruner's lead to five points with Gabe Escalera making three baskets in a row for a 20-15 game. However, Bruner came right back with Nick Latson knocking down a 3-pointer followed by a shot in the paint by Tykees Jarbuc, who finished the night with 24 points. In the last two minutes, each team scored two baskets with the Spartans holding a 10-point lead at the half. 

In the third, Bruner made a little run early with Jarbuc hitting one from the paint, then coming back with a 3-pointer. The Spartans also picked up a couple of free throws to stretch their lead to 38-21. By the end of three, Bruner was sitting on a 42-25 advantage. 

In the fourth, Bruner outscored Destin 17-7 for the win. 

In spite of the loss, Davies said he was proud of his Marlins. 

Destin's Owen Atkins goes up for a jump shot in the second half. Atkins scored six points in the 59-32 loss to Bruner.

“I thought Owen Atkins was amazing. He must have had 20 rebounds and a number of blocks and steals. He also did a great job on offense and finding the open shooter for some good looks. He plays so hard,” Davies said. 

“We are a much better team than we were in December. This is a young team, but they have never quit, which speaks volumes for them.”