Destin Marlins win one, lose one to Bruner Spartans in middle school basketball

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

The Destin Marlin girls put the visiting Bruner Spartans away 49-24, while the Destin boys struggled a bit and lost 33-24 in middle school basketball action in Destin Wednesday evening. 

The girls took the floor first in a fast-paced game. 

“We played better today,” said Destin Coach Susie Pierce. “The first two games (of the season) were kind of easy for us, but these last two have been much more difficult. The speed of the game was much faster and more physical.”

Destin's Gabby Diaz, left, and Kaylee McKissack look to gain control of the ball against the Bruner Spartans. The Destin Marlins won 49-24.

In the first quarter, the scoring went back and forth with Destin holding a 14-11 lead at the buzzer.  

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At the start of the second period, Destin reeled off nine-unanswered points. Carson Fayard, who led all scorers with 20 points on the evening, put up back-to-back baskets. Kaylee McKissack and Gabby Diaz hit back-to-back baskets, then Avery Cowles went to the foul line and hit the first of two tries. Bruner scored one lone basket in the last two minutes of play. Destin led 23-13 at the half. 

Destin's Carson Fayard goes up for a shot against the Bruner Spartans on Wednesday. Fayard scored 20 pints in the 49-24 victory.

In the third, Destin made another run on the Spartans, this time for 12 consecutive points. Fayard, Cowles, Diaz all contributed. By the end of the third Destin led 41-20. 

“My post players played really well today,” Pierce said, noting the efforts of Diaz and McKissack, who are both new to the Marlins this year. 

“They really brought it together today,” she said. 

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Diaz finished up with 12 points and McKissack, six. 

With the win, the Marlins go into Christmas break 3-1. 

As for the Destin boys, the Bruner Spartans proved to be a bit much. 

“Our defense was excellent,” said Destin Coach Bob Davies, noting they held the fast-moving Spartans to 33. 

“I’m looking at the score board and it’s a nine-point game and we missed seven layups,” Davies said. 

Destin's Jordan Figueroa tries to power his way to the goal against the Bruner Spartans. Figueroa scored six points in the 33-24 loss.

“We’re going to be working on our layups and put-backs. If we can get those to fall, we’re going to be a dangerous team. But hats off to Bruner. They are just a really good ball club,” he added. 

In the first quarter, Bruner outscored Destin 9-3 with Greyson Sommerville scoring the only 3 points in the last two minutes. 

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In the second, Bruner put up five more points and Destin’s Jordan Figueroa put up four in the last 2 ½ minutes of the period. Destin trailed 14-7 at the break. 

Destin went scoreless in the third, falling behind 24-7. 

Destin's Gabe Escalera tries to keep the ball away from the Bruner Spartans. Destin lost 33-24.

In the fourth quarter, Destin put up 17 points and held Bruner to nine, but it wasn’t enough. Gabe Escalera scored five, three from the free-throw line. Sommerville swished two more 3-pointers and Ethan Chance made a couple of baskets from the paint. Figueroa picked up the other two points. 

Up next for the Destin Marlins is a trip to Crestview on Jan. 5 to take on the Davidson Panthers. Boys play at 5 p.m., with the girls to follow at 6:30 p.m.