Sometimes Bryson Lassiter allows the game to come to him. And sometimes the Bay Shore point guard is forced to be more proactive.
On Thursday night, with Bay Shore coach Gary Williams repeatedly yelling, "Get the ball, Bryson," Lassiter took over in the fourth quarter, sparking the host Marauders to a 57-37 victory over previously unbeaten Central Islip in a Suffolk League II game.
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Lassiter scored 11 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter, sparking a 16-0 burst as Bay Shore (5-2, 1-1 in league) overwhelmed Central Islip (7-1, 3-1) with a 21-5 quarter.
"It's his time. He's a senior. He absolutely should be taking charge," Williams said of Lassiter, who made five steals. "He's our best ballhandler. The ball should be in his hands. If he makes a mistake , he gets the ball back on defense."
Lassiter acknowledged the passive side of his game, saying, "I have a lot of confidence in my teammates to take the pressure off me bringing the ball up. But Coach told me to go get the ball so I just pushed it to the max."
Ishiah Booker (17 points) and Tim McKenzie (10) kept CI close until Lassiter took over. Bay Shore's game-breaking surge began with two Lassiter free throws to make it 41-35. Its zone press forced consecutive turnovers that Devin Farmer (13 points, eight in the third quarter) turned into a basket and a free throw. Then it was showtime for Lassiter.
He dribbled through traffic to score a layup, drew a foul and converted a three-point play that made it 49-35 with 3:00 left. He did the same thing a minute and a half later.
With the game in hand, Lassiter sank a rare three-pointer for his final points. "That's one of the hardest defensive teams to play against on Long Island," he said of Central Islip, last year's Suffolk II champs. "We just picked up the intensity in the fourth quarter."
Starting with him.