Hapoel Tel Aviv downed Hapoel Gilboa Galil 87-73 as J’Covan Brown and James Young bust the game open with a huge third quarter to take the win. Guy Kaplan’s squad held a slim 42-40 lead at halftime thanks to strong play from Sacha Killeya-Jones and Derek Cooke, but Brown and Young were unstoppable in a 29-12 third frame to snatch the win. Young led all scorers with 26 points and 12 rebounds, Brown added 18 points and Bar Timor chipped in with 11 points in the win. Killeya-Jones paced the hosts with 19 points while Cooke and Or Cornelius each added 14 points in the loss.
“We wanted to start the New Year off right,” a content Brown said after the game. “We stayed together and we fought through the whole game. That is what it’s all about. Once we get going we’re a hard team to beat and I want to give everything that I have for my guys.”
Reds coach Danny Franco added, “In the first half we were all over the place but we played a lot better in the second half and we didn’t allow Gilboa second chances. It took time for the players to get into sync this season with one another for various reasons, if it was injuries, new players or Corona.”
“We didn’t get anything that we didn’t expect,” explained Gilboa coach Guy Kaplan. “Whether it was the defensive or the offensive side of the game, we gave up too many easy points and we need to play for the full 40 minutes.”