Dominant teams most typically dominate the defensive battle and turnover margin. This was the case in the first three quarters for Glen Cove in their 60-55 home opener victory against a resilient Plainedge.
The Big Red staunchly defended its homecourt Dec. 20 allowing just 27 points through the opening three frames to the visiting Red Devils. In the third quarter, the Big Red doubled up the Red Devils’ quarter point total 18-9. With just eight minutes left and up 44-27, Glen Cove lost its grip on it’s commanding lead and started to allow Plainedge to crawl back in to the game. However, the issues didn’t just stem from defensive miscommunications.
“We stopped moving the ball on offense,” Glen Cove head coach Peter Falen said. “We took early shots in our possessions and didn’t use the play clock.”
Leading the way for Glen Cove offensively was Jared Jackson with an outpouring of 25 points. Jackson’s game-high point total came within the flow of the game.
Throughout the games first two quarters, Glen Cove’s defense had controlled the overall pace of play. “We did great, we kept them off the boards and limited them to only a few baskets,” Falen said. Jackson took most of his first half points capitalizing off of key turnovers. The second half of the game told a different tale. “For whatever reason, in the fourth quarter we took a step backwards,” Falen said.
Glen Cove’s aggressive and talented guard then answered by cementing an important conference win. Jackson become much more aggressive in the halfcourt and showed a nose for slashing into the seams in the lane. “(Jackson) did a great job scoring in transition in the first half, and then in the paint in the second half,” Falen said.
Jackson nailed a pair of free throws with just a few ticks left to secure the victory. Jackson averages 19 points a game on the young season.
The Big Red also had two other starters finish in double figures including senior combo guard Michael Vaughan with 16 and senior point guard Dajour Gibson with 15. The pair of seniors are continuing their thus-far successful seasons, averaging a near identical point per-game total. Gibson averages an even 15 while Vaughan averages 14.3. Falen was adamant at the dawn of the new season that this backcourt combo would have to play a large role for this team to have success, and thus far they have made strides.
Glen Coves Gibson, Vaughan, and Jackson are the major sources of points for Falen’s offense. Glen Cove has scored 31 points this year by players other than the three aforementioned. That leaves more than 80 percent of the Big Red’s point production coming from the trio of Gibson, Vaughan, and Jackson.
Plainedge’s Mike DeSantis finished with a team-high 15 points.
Glen Cove split its first four conference games and hosts Bethpage this Friday at 6:30 p.m.