Finn Gibbons and Luke Keating had plenty to talk about Saturday.
“We talk after every goal,” Keating said.
Which meant the two Garden City seniors, best friends since kindergarten, had more than a dozen chats as the Trojans trounced Eastport-South Manor, 14-4, in the Long Island Class B title game at Stony Brook.
“We’ll talk about who was open. Or he’ll say, ‘Look off the defense and I’ll find you,’ ” Keating said.
Gibbons was paying attention. He assisted on three of his pal’s four goals, added two other assists and scored four goals himself. “It doesn’t matter who scores for us, but me feeding him is a good feeling,” Gibbons said. “It’s an old connection.”
And a familiar story as Garden City won its 15th LIC and will face Yorktown on Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. at SUNY Albany in the state Class B semifinals. “We came up short last year and I couldn’t play in the LIC,” said Gibbons who had injured his collarbone. “There was a time when I didn’t think we would stop scoring. It was fun.”
The fun started when Gibbons scored off a pass from Kyle Steinbach with 8.5 seconds left before halftime for a 6-3 lead. It was an all-out fun fest in the third quarter when the Trojans scored five unanswered goals in 2:21.
Gibbons scored twice in seven seconds, one in transition after two good saves by Teddy Dolan and another after a clean faceoff win. Jamie Atkinson joined the party with his second on a rocket from the top slot. Then, after a minute’s breather, Garden City scored twice in 10 seconds to make it 11-3 — Keating unassisted and Sean Coughlin on a feed from Gibbons.
“Finn is a bright player who understood what they were going to do and executed,” said Trojans coach Steve Finnell after his fifth LIC. “He’s a balanced player, equally good at feeding and shooting. Luke is a hard worker who really improved his skills.”
Keating had two goals and Gibbons had a goal and three assists to set the tone in a 5-1 first-quarter blitz. “We tensed up a little in the second quarter,” Keating said, “but then we calmed down and just ran our plays.”
Those plays included Keating and Gibbons combining four times for goals. “We felt the vibe from our teammates and the crowd,” Keating said. “It was awesome.”
It was a real conversation starter.