For defending state Class A champion Massapequa, there is balance on offense and, so far at least, symmetry in the last two seasons. The Chiefs won their final 17 games last spring and, after a snappy 16-6 victory over Hicksville Tuesday night at Hofstra's Shuart Stadium, have won their first 17 this year.
"We don't think about that number," Carter Hawthorne, who led Massapequa's semifinal romp with five goals and an assist, said of the team's 34-game winning streak. "We're just thinking about 'four more games.' "
That's how many more wins it will take to bring Massapequa back-to-back state crowns. The next step is the Nassau A final at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Hofstra against Wednesday's Syosset-Port Washington winner.
The Chiefs are using the same formula that produced the first state title in school history. "Everyone understands that it's all about making one more pass for the easy dunk," said Hawthorne, who has 30 goals and 26 assists. "It's something we work on in drills every day. It's nothing individual. Everybody plays within the system. We love to run and we love to play in transition. It's fun to watch and it's fun to play."
It was certainly a blast for Massapequa during a dazzling first-half clinic of ball movement. The Chiefs netted the first 10 goals and used an eight-goal second quarter to put the game away by halftime with a 12-1 lead. Michael Osmundsen had two goals and two assists for the Comets (11-6).
"Just some of the guys being part of last year's team and knowing the expectation is to be unselfish," Massapequa coach Tim Radomski said. "Eight or nine guys can score and we get tons of assists. That's what we did last year."
They're doing it again, led by Ryan Tierney, who scored one goal and had three of the Chiefs' 11 assists Tuesday night. He leads the team with 34 goals and 31 assists. In all, five Massapequa players have at least 20 goals. "We haven't changed the offense," Hawthorne said. "Just the names of the shooters."
Take down these names, in addition to Hawthorne and Tierney, who headed the scoring parade against Hicksville: Justin Lynskey (two goals, one assist), Paul Dilena (one goal, one assist), Casey Kimmel (two goals), Griff Konen (two assists) and Brendan Nichtern (two assists). Twelve different players had at least a goal. "It's not one guy," Radomski said.
It hasn't been for a couple of years.
Manhasset 8, Garden City 7: Thomas Duran took a feed from Jack Keogh behind the cage and scored from in close 1:16 into overtime as Manhasset outlasted Garden City in a thrilling Nassau B semifinal at Hofstra. The Indians (12-4) advance to Tuesday's final at 8 p.m. at Hofstra against the winner of Wednesday night's Lynbrook-South Side game. Garden City finished 11-7.