With 60-plus wins under their belts, the Pryor Pirates added one more this week with a 55-37 victory over the Destin Marlins in girl's middle school basketball action in Destin.
The Marlins were a bit intimidated by the Pirates, who have captured the county championship the past four years.
“I think our kids played a little scared,” said Destin Coach Susie Pierce. “They were shocked at their speed and the quickness of their players and the size.
“Their press hurt us early … and our guards panicked a little bit. And by the time we calmed down, we were down by 20 points,” Pierce said.
The Pirates scored on their first possession with Penny Simmons, who finished the night with 24 points, taking it to the hoop in the first few seconds. Seconds later, Destin’s Reagan Palmer drew a foul and hit the first of two tries. Simmons went inside again for two points. In the next minute, Destin took its only lead of the game with Jessica Pierce putting a rebound back for two points, followed by a shot from the paint by Carson Fayard on a turnover. Destin led 5-4, momentarily.
At that point, Pryor put up nine unanswered points on steals for layups and foul shots. Destin put up one last basket in the final minute with Summerlee Baldwin scoring on a takeaway. Pryor led 13-7.
In the second quarter, Pryor poured on the pressure and cashed in for 14 points while holding Destin to only one bucket from Baldwin. Destin trailed 27-9 at the break.
In the second half, the Marlins settled down some and actually outscored the Pirates for the period, 16-13. Anna Kimball picked up 10 points for the Marlins inside, while Pierce, Fayard and Ava Smith each tossed in two points. Elesi Simmons was the go-to player for Pryor with 11 points. Pryor led 40-25 at the buzzer.
In the fourth quarter, Pryor outscored the Marlins 12-2 in the first four minutes to start a running clock on the game. Not giving up, Destin put up eight in the final minutes but it was too little to late.
Destin had two players hit double digits, Pierce and Kimball with 10 each.
Overall Coach Pierce was excited with her team’s effort.
“I’m thrilled with how they played,” Pierce said.
“They competed towards the second half. Nobody gave up. They competed … that’s all we asked them to do.”
Up next for Destin, 4-2 is a 5:30 p.m. game at home Tuesday against the Freeport Bulldogs.