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Chris Crespo and Michael Gannon’s teamwork spark Smithtown West’s victory

The point guard and the forward have a long-developed chemistry that’s helped the Bulls reach 6-0 in league play.

Smithtown West point guard Chris Crespo brings the

Smithtown West point guard Chris Crespo brings the ball upcourt against Copiague guard Michael Snowden during a Suffolk boy's basketball game on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Chris Crespo and Michael Gannon are on the same page reading from the same script. They can recite each other’s lines.

“He knows where I want him to be and he knows where I want to be,” said Crespo, Smithtown West’s point guard.

“We definitely have good chemistry. We’ve been playing together since middle school. All those AAU games, summer camps and 3 ½ on the varsity,” said Gannon, the Bulls’ sweet-shooting forward.

The pals wrote another chapter in their basketball diaries Thursday. Gannon scored 10 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter and Crespo scored all 10 of his points in the second half and had eight assists as host Smithtown West pulled away from stubborn Copiague, 59-48 in Suffolk III.

They were at their best when the game was on the line in the fourth quarter. In an oddity, the teams were tied at the end of the first (12-all), second (23-all) and third (38-all) quarters. But the Bulls pulled away in the fourth to improve to 6-0 in league. The Eagles fell to 1-4 despite 18 points from Michael Snowden, who was limited to two free throws in the fourth quarter.

Connor Bratt (13 points) scored the first four points of the fourth quarter for Smithtown West, before Gannon and Crespo took over. On consecutive possessions, Crespo drove the baseline and kicked it out to Gannon in the left corner. The 6-6 senior sank both treys.

Moments later, Gannon vacated his corner office to run the baseline, where he took a lob from Crespo for an easy layup that made it 54-44 with 1:44 left.

“The nice thing about it is that all three were set plays,” Smithtown West coach Mike Agostino said. “They’ve spent so much time together, playing for me on the varsity and in summer ball.”

West’s defense wore down Copiague in the fourth quarter. “Our energy level and intensity seemed to go up in the fourth,” Agostino said. “They covered a lot of space in the zone.”

The Eagles’ defense was stout, too, until Crespo and Gannon connected. “Chris is not shy in those moments,” Agostino said. “He makes big plays in big spots.”

That’s why Crespo wasn’t troubled by being held scoreless until midway through the third quarter. “I’m the point guard and the team leader,” the 6-2 senior said. “I don’t care about scoring, I just care about winning.”

He’s good at turning the page.

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