Jack Keogh’s pass-first mentality on the lacrosse field is an extension of his role as a point guard on the basketball court. The assist is the Manhasset junior’s favorite individual statistic.
“He’s just as happy to see a teammate score as he is to get a goal himself,” Manhasset coach Bill Cherry said.
Keogh must be feeling exuberant after his performance Thursday afternoon. He registered a career-high 10 assists, three of them to Kevin Mack, who scored seven goals, as No. 2 Manhasset defeated No. 3 Wantagh, 17-10, in a Nassau B-II quarterfinal game at Hofstra’s Shuart Stadium.
The defending Long Island Class B champion Indians (14-3) will face Lynbook in a B-II semifinal at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday at Hofstra. Wantagh, which was led by Dylan Beckwith’s goal and five assists, finished 12-5.
Manhasset blew open a 5-5 game with a 9-0 tear, scoring the last three goals of the first half and the first six of a dominant third quarter. Matt Gavin and Kyle Cherry added four goals each for the Indians, who outscored the Warriors 9-1 in the third to take a 17-6 lead.
“It all depends on what kind of a game it is,” said Keogh, who leads Nassau with 52 assists and has 24 goals. “Coach always says to take what the defense gives you.”
At times Thursday, Keogh seemed to be taking advantage of every situation, but he was most effective setting up cutters from behind the cage. “I didn’t need to look for my shot as much today,” he said. “We just moved the ball to the first open guy, and he was banging it.”
Mack scored two goals in nine seconds during a 4-0 first-quarter burst and contributed three to the third-quarter explosion. Gavin also had three of his goals in the third, two on feeds from Keogh.
“The kids have bought into sharing the ball and giving it up to the open man,” Cherry said. “Jack commands attention, and that opens it up for others.”
Mack was the beneficiary of the attention given to Keogh. “Jack moved the ball and I was lucky enough to be the open man,” said Mack, a junior who has scored 41 goals. “We’re always looking to move the ball, especially when you draw two defenders. You know someone else will be open.”
And the Indians know Keogh will find him.