Jim Byrns' three goals, three assists boost Massapequa
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Massapequa's version of the Killer Bees was once again on the rampage Tuesday, but more accurately, one of those high-scoring stingers is more of a pesky gnat.
Jim Byrns, described by coach Tim Radomski as "a little scrapper," had three goals and three assists, Paul Bentz had four goals and an assist and Craig Berge a goal and two assists as the Chiefs belted host Syosset, 14-6, in a battle of unbeaten boys lacrosse teams in Nassau I.
"Let's go with 5-5," Byrns said with a king-size grin, tacit acknowledgment that maybe that height was a bit of a stretch. "I don't like to answer the question."
In helping the Chiefs reach 5-0 in league play, Byrns and his teammates came up big against Syosset (4-1) and Johns Hopkins-bound goalie Ryan Feit.
"The middle was open all day. We had some good looks and made some good feeds," Byrns said. "When you get those kinds of looks against Feit, you've got to finish."
Massapequa finished early and often and not just the Bs. Other Chiefs brought their "A'' game, too. Ian Kirby and Paul Dilena each had three goals and an assist.
The Chiefs broke this one open with five consecutive goals in the third quarter to build a 13-4 lead. Byrns scored the first two, then Dilena unassisted, Kirby on a low-to-high blast from a tough angle and Bentz on a feed from Kirby did their damage. "Jim just finds his way through the defense. He's a finisher," Radomski said.
There were plenty of feed-and-finish highlights for Massapequa. "Our offense was really clicking," Radomski said. "Syosset is a good team with a great goalie. We made our shots count and we made some good back-door cuts when guys turned their heads."
Massapequa scored three of its five first-quarter goals on sharp cuts and accurate passes. It needed such efficiency early because Syosset scored three goals in a fast-paced, action-packed first period. After that, however, the Chiefs' offense was nearly unstoppable.
"It's a great feeling when the offense gets going like we did," Bentz said. "This was definitely a confidence booster for the playoffs. But this is just Round 1. We expect to see them again in the playoffs."
Syosset beat Massapequa in last year's Class A Nassau final. A rematch would create quite a buzz.