After sluggish 1st half, Lady Marlins run over Ruckel Rams in middle school basketball

Tina Harbuck
The Destin Log

After a slow start, the Destin Marlins rallied to rout the Ruckel Rams 29-11 in girls middle school basketball action Thursday night. 

Destin eighth grader Gabbi Diaz works the ball inside against the Ruckel Rams. Destin won the game 29-11.

It was the last regular season game, with all eighth-grade girls being recognized. The eighth-graders are Neilya Stewart, Braelyn Grantello, Gabbi Diaz, Kaylee McKissack and Maya Weber. 

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“I’m going to miss all my eighth-graders. They left it all out there today. I couldn’t be more proud of them. It was a great game,” Destin Coach Derrick Everett said. 

Destin's Avery Cowles makes her way past a Ruckel Ram in the second half of play. Cowles scored eight points in the 29-11 Destin victory.

“It was tied at halftime, and they came back and put on a performance that was just unimaginable. I’m proud of them … it was huge,” Everett said.

With the win, the girls finished with a 9-5 record and will advance to the Okaloosa County Middle School Girls Basketball Tournament. Times and days for the tournament will be announced later.

Destin's Kaylee McKissack looks to pass the ball against the Ruckel Rams in the first half of play. Destin won 29-11.

As for Thursday’s win over Ruckel, the first half was sluggish for both teams with the game tied at 5-5 at the break. 

In the third quarter, the Marlins came out firing on all cylinders and knocked down 15 points. Weber started the scoring with a shot from the paint. Avery Cowles made a steal and went the distance for a layup. Stewart followed with a 3-pointer. Diaz picked up a foul and hit the second of two tries and then 20 seconds later, Chloe Lindsey drained a 3-pointer. Cowles put up two more layups before Ruckel scored one basket. Destin led 20-7. 

Destin eighth-grader Neilya Stewart nailed a 3-pointer in the third quarter.

In the fourth quarter, Destin didn’t let up and put nine more on the board. Lindsey nailed her second 3-pointer and hit another long shot. Diaz put a rebound back for two points and Cowles finished with a layup. Ruckel scored four points. 

For the game, Destin was led by Lindsey with 11 points and Cowles with eight.