Kevin Cryer-Hassett spent his junior year with the Northport boys basketball team in a reserve role, eager that a greater opportunity would soon present itself.
Now a senior in his second and final season, Cryer-Hassett has gotten his shot and is capitalizing upon it.
The new starting point guard and team captain finished with 16 points, five assists and three steals in a 51-43 home victory over North Babylon on Friday night in a non-league game.
Cryer-Hassett actually credited a recent graduate and former Tiger guard with helping him make the necessary strides this season.
“During the offseason, Lukas Jarret trained with me and helped me get better,” Cryer-Hassett said. “We worked hard in the offseason. He gave me a lot of advice to improve.”
Northport (2-1) coach Andrew D’Eloia also praised Cryer-Hassett’s patience on the floor.
“He’s taking advantage of opportunities that come in the offense. He’s not trying to do too much, just letting the game come to him.”
Northport appeared poised for a lopsided win, entering the fourth quarter with a 16-point lead. North Babylon (0-3) stormed back, however, cutting the lead to seven with 2:47 remaining. Billy Muller helped keep North Babylon within striking distance with a 16 points.
Ryan Magnuson provided the crucial response for Northport down the stretch. With 2:23 left to go, Magnuson knocked down a three-pointer that extended the Tigers’ lead to 10 and essentially put the Bulldogs away. Magnuson recorded seven points and eight rebounds.
Northport received an additional quality performance from senior guard Vin Deceglia, who scored 15 points. Sophomore forward Ian Malamerson was also big for the Tigers. He tacked on seven points, seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks.
Despite his improved skills as a scorer, Cryer-Hassett was equally content with distributing the basketball.
“I’ll shoot if the shot is there, but I really just try to set up my teammates and fulfill the role of a point guard.”