Destin Marlins come on strong in second half to pull off road victories over Davidson

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

The same was true for both teams. After a slow start, both the Destin Middle School Marlin boys' and girls' basketball teams came on strong in the third quarter to pull off two road victories at Davidson Middle School in Crestview Wednesday night. 

The Destin boys won 43-35, while the Lady Marlins capped off the night with a 48-36 victory. 

The boys took the floor first and had a very slow start. At the end of the first quarter, Destin led 5-3. And then in the second period, Davidson went up 20-14. 

Destin's Gabe Escalera looks to take the ball to the goal against the Davidson Panthers. Escalera led the charge for Destin with 13 points. Destin won 43-35.

But when the Marlins came out of the locker room to start the third period, they came out a different team. 

“In the first 10 minutes we gave up only two points,” said Destin Coach Bob Davies. “I told them at the half, I don’t care if you score another point the whole game, we’re not giving up points.”

More from Destin Middle:Destin Marlins win one, lose one to Bruner Spartans in middle school basketball

In the third quarter, Destin kicked it in gear and passed the Davidson Panthers. 

Davidson scored the first point, then it was all Destin. The Marlins put up 12 unanswered points in the third and continued into the fourth with nine more before giving up points to the Panthers. 

Davidson finally scored with under four minutes left in the game. 

“I thought our effort in first half was kind of lethargic, but they came out the second half and played defensively the way expected. And offense follows defense. Once they started playing defense, the offense followed,” Davies said. 

“It was a great break-out game for Gabe Escalera,” Davies said.

Escalera led the Marlins with 13 points.

More Marlins in the news:Ortiz is 'contenta' to be Destin Middle School Teacher of the Year

“Coach G (Ron Griffiths) got our offense good looks all night,” Davies said. 

Xavier Crawford, who didn’t pick up a basketball until June this past year, put up 10 points for Destin. Ethan Chance scored seven, while Jordan Figueroa and Greyson Sommerville each scored six.  

With the win, the Destin boys move to 3-2 on the season. 

Destin's Carson Fayard keeps the ball away from a Davidson Panther. Fayard led the Destin Marlins with 26 points in their 48-36 win.

Up next, the Lady Marlins put Davidson away 48-36. 

In the first quarter, Destin led 8-4 and held on to a 21-17 lead at the half. 

But the difference in the game was the third quarter. The Lady Marlins reeled off 14 unanswered points with Carson Fayard leading the charge with 12 of the 14 points. 

From the past:Destin girls finish strong with running-clock victory over Ruckel in basketball

“We won it in the third quarter,” said Destin Coach Susie Pierce.  

“We were sluggish in the first and second quarter,” she said noting they were a bit out of sync after the holiday break.  

But in the third quarter, “Carson came alive,” Pierce said. 

“That third quarter explosion out of the locker room” was the difference, she said. 

By the end of the third period, Destin was up 37-24. 

In the fourth, Destin picked up 11 more points and Davidson 12. 

For the game, Fayard scored 26 points for the Marlins and Anabelle Shackelford 10. Gabby Diaz tossed in six. 

The Lady Marlins move to 4-1 on the season. 

Up next for Destin is a road game at Ruckel Middle School in Niceville on Jan. 10. Girls play at 5 p.m. with the boys to follow at 6:30 p.m.