Before gifts were opened on Christmas Day, the Destin Marlins collected a couple of presents themselves with two victories on the basketball court in the days leading up to the holiday break.


First the Destin boys put the Pryor Pirates away 41-37 with Maddax Fayard leading the way with 22 points, 17 coming in the second half.


“It was great to see him come alive and do what he does,” said Destin Coach Bob Davies. “Asa Newell did a great job on the boards and quietly scored 17.”


As for the rest of the Marlins, coach said they played very tough on defense.


“Our defense is always going to be what makes or breaks us. The boys did a good job of figuring out what Pryor was trying to do and they made very good adjustments,” Davies said.


In the first quarter, Destin took an 11-7 lead with Newell knocking down a couple of 3-pointers as well as a bucket and a free throw. Fayard picked up the other two Destin points.


Pryor came back in the second quarter with 12 points to take a 19-17 lead at the half.


By the end of the third quarter, the game was deadlocked at 28-28.


In the fourth quarter, Destin put up 13 points to Pryor’s nine for the win. Fayard led the Marlins with nine points.


Later in the week, the Marlins traveled to Shalimar to take on the Meigs Wildcats. Destin came away with a 47-31 victory.


Again the duo of Fayard and Newell were the scoring machines for Destin. Fayard scored a game high of 27 and Newell put up 13.


“This was a hard fought win,” Davies said. “The first half it seemed Meigs wanted it more than we did. But the boys finally woke up and started playing harder.


“Erik Scott took a huge charge that ignited the team,” he added.


In the first quarter, Destin held a slight 8-7 lead but by the half had extended it 19-12.


In the third quarter, Destin put up 14 points with Fayard leading the way with 11 points. Destin led 33-22 at the buzzer.


In the fourth quarter, Destin continued to bury Meigs, outscoring them 14-9.


“Asa Newell had another great all around game,” Davies said. “Maddax Fayard had a career high of 27.


“We really need to work on our free throw shooting,” he added. “Price Bowen is continuing to get better. We are looking for a big January out of him.”


Up next for Destin is a 5 p.m. game Jan. 7 at Ruckel Middle School in Niceville.