The Northport Southpaw seems like a catchy nickname for Lukas Jarrett. Especially when the rangy, 6-7 senior is sinking those lefthanded jumpers from the perimeter.
But just when you think you’ve locked in your compass settings for Jarrett, he changes direction . . . and switches hands. Jarrett made eight of his 10 baskets with his right hand Tuesday, when he scored 22 points and added 13 rebounds to lead Northport to a 55-44 victory over host Copiague in Suffolk II.
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“He does everything righthanded except shoot a basketball,” Tigers coach Andrew D’Eloia said.
That’s why Jarrett, when asked if he is a lefty or a righty, paused pensively and answered, “That’s a hard question. I shoot lefty but I write with my right hand and throw a baseball with my right arm.”
But when he started playing basketball seriously as a fifth-grader, Jarrett said he “felt more comfortable right from the start shooting lefthanded. It is weird, I know.”
Nothing weird about Jarrett’s game, though. He is a complete player, as demonstrated by his five steals and six blocks that helped the Tigers improve to 4-0 in league play while Copiague fell to 2-2. Point guard Brennan Whelan added 16 points and six assists for Northport. Myles Mills scored 15 points and Andre Morgan had 12 for the Eagles.
Jarrett began the game with a reverse pivot followed by a layup with his right hand. In the second quarter, Jarrett scored consecutive righty layups, one after a steal and the other after a block, and also hit a righty turnaround in the lane as Northport built a 25-15 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Copiague’s Rigaud Destime hit a long three, Morgan rocked the house with a steal and a thunderous, one-handed tomahawk dunk and followed it by rattling in a three. Mills beat the buzzer from downtown as Copiague rallied to within 42-34 entering the fourth quarter.
But Northport’s motion offense, replete with hard screens, sharp cuts and slick backdoor passes, did not allow the Eagles to get closer than 46-40 with 5:06 left. Rory Schynder scored all six of his points in the final period, including a key steal immediately after Jarrett missed a dunk, on which he used both hands. “I did finish a dunk in the first quarter,” Jarrett pointed out with a sly smile.
His outside shots weren’t falling, but that didn’t necessarily mean Jarrett would finish his interior moves with his right hand. “The situations just worked out that way,” he said. “Whenever I work out, I do stuff with both hands so they are the same strength.”
Jarrett has the right stuff . . . or is it the left?