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Destin High Sharks fall prey to Bozeman Bucks in basketball

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

Both the Destin High Shark girls' and boys' basketball teams lost to the visiting Bozeman Bucks in varsity action Tuesday night at the Destin United Methodist Church Family Life Center, Destin’s home court. 

The Lady Sharks went down 48-6 and then the Destin boys lost 85-68 to an undefeated Bozeman team. 

In the girl's game, Destin struggled without a couple of starters who are out with injuries.  

Destin Shark Deshawn Ford tries to block out a Bozeman Buck. Also ready to defend are Syr Rhodes and Carsten Phillips.

Nevertheless, Shark Coach Esic Rhodes III was still pleased with the effort. 

“It’s going to come … we just got to take every game and find one thing we can work on and improve for the next game,” Rhodes said of his young team. 

Avery Emmick was out with a rib injury and Riley Palmer went down early in the game with a shoulder injury. 

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“We were trying to work with what we had,” Rhodes said. “I’m good with the ladies we have right now, if I can just get us healthy and then put some things together. We’re going to get something this year.”

On Tuesday, the Lady Sharks were overpowered by the Bucks. At the end of the first quarter, Bozeman led 13-2 and then 33-4 at the half. 

Destin's Riley Palmer tries to make her way through several Bozeman Bucks. Palmer injured her shoulder early in the game. Destin lost 48-6.

In the third quarter, Bozeman pulled away 41-4 lead to start a running clock on the game.  

Scoring for the Sharks were Reagan Palmer, Elaine Wolford and Jemmecia Jeffers. 

In the boy's game, the Sharks kept the game within reach and even took the lead momentarily in the third before it slipped away for an 85-68 loss. 

In the first quarter, Bozeman jumped out to a 24-11 lead with Noa McClelland and Josh Carpenter leading the charge for the Bucks. 

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In the second quarter, Destin outscored the Bucks 17-10 but still trailed 34-28 at the half. Syr Rhodes scored seven points, while Deshawn Ford added four and Sonny Taylor, Carsten Phillips and Baylen Knox each picked up two points for the Sharks. 

With five minutes to go in the third quarter, Destin was down 42-33. The Sharks went to work and managed to tie the game. Ford and Rhodes hit a couple of baskets underneath, then Rhodes drove the lane for two and picked up a foul turning in a three-point play. Seconds later, Rhodes was fouled again and hit both shots from the line to tie the game at 42-42. 

The scoring went back and forth and with just under two minutes left in the third, Destin took the lead on a 3-pointer from Rhodes for a 47-46 advantage, the Sharks first lead of the game. However, it was short lived. In that last minute-and-a-half, the Bucks reeled off 10-unanswered points to go up 56-47. 

Destin Shark Sonny Taylor goes up for a shot against the Bozeman Bucks. Taylor scored 11 points in the 85-68 loss.

In the fourth, Destin got within eight points of catching the Bucks, but that was short lived as well. The Bucks outscored the Sharks 29-21 in the fourth for the win. 

For the game, Destin had three players in double digits. Rhodes led the way with 25 points, followed by Ford with 20 and Taylor with 11. 

Both Destin teams will be on the road Monday, Dec. 20, to North Bay Haven in Panama City. The girls will play at 5 p.m. followed by the boys at 6:30 p.m.