After winning five straight, the Destin Marlins lost their first game of the season this week, 44-27, to a much bigger Pryor Pirate team of Fort Walton Beach in boy’s middle school basketball action.

“They are a very good basketball team,” said Destin Coach Bob Davies.

“They have tremendous talent and are very well coached."

Nevertheless, “I thought our effort physically was the best it’s been all year. I think we made the least amount of mistakes that we’ve made all year, but we still made some," he said

Destin got off to a pretty good start in the first quarter, matching the Pirates basket for basket until the last few seconds. Destin’s Zander Davis drilled a 3-pointer, then Tobias Thompson was fouled plus a Pirate picked up a technical. With 1 tick left on the clock, Thompson made all four shots from the line to give Destin a 15-10 lead at halftime.

However, that five-point advantage was the last the Marlins would see.

To start the second quarter, the Pirates put up nine unanswered points with Jayce Brown firing up the net with a 3-pointer, a couple of foul shots from Dashaun Dozier, another bucket from Brown and then Jashawn Armstrong worked his way inside for a basket and a 19-15 lead. Destin finally got on the board in the last two minutes with Thompson going to the line for a free throw. Brown came back with another 3-pointer and Thompson finished up the half with a bucket. Destin trailed 22-18.

“His release was lightning quick. He was just a tremendous talent,” Davies said of Brown, who finished the night with 16 points.

In the third quarter, the Pirates continued to bury the Marlins, draining three more 3-pointers as well as making the inside shot. Destin on the other hand was having a hard time getting a shot to fall. Pryor outscored Destin 18-4 for the period.

In the fourth, both teams substituted players giving others playing time with Pryor scoring five and Destin four. Destin lost 44-27.

“We had so many shots that should have gone in that didn’t, so I think it was a lot of closer than 17,” Davies said.

“But even if the shots that normally go in for us … Pryor still played better than us, but it would have been a closer game. We’re never giving up, we’re going to keep coming at them,” Davies added.

Up next for Destin is a 7 p.m. game Dec. 11 at home against the Freeport Bulldogs.