CORTLANDT MANOR, N.Y. -- Accumulating 100 points during a high school hockey season seems implausible, even for the Cortlandt Manor star of The Harvey School’s team who is approaching the benchmark.
Keith Lambert, a senior at the school in Katonah, entered this week with 48 goals and 91 points. With a handful of regular season games remaining and playoffs, the high-scoring forward seems as astonished as anyone about his success for finding the net this season.
“I never thought scoring 100 points would be possible,’’ Lambert said. “Knock on wood, I hope it does happen. Really, I’d be fine if I don’t score another point all season as long as we win the championship.”
Lambert said many of his goals have been easy tap-ins set up by his linemates, Connor Wilson and Theo Rattner. “They make it look easy for me,’’ Lambert said. “Connor gets me the puck whenever I need it. Scoring goals was a focus for me this year because I knew I needed to step up in that role. I worked very hard over the summer to get ready for the season.”
Lambert had a solid year last year for the Cavaliers, when he scored 19 goals and amassed 48 points. He has been on fire from the outset this year, including one stretch when he collected 17 points in three games. He had five goals and three assists against Pearl River during that stretch.
"Keith's having the best single season I've ever seen at Harvey, '' coach Alex Morse said.
Lambert’s prodigious pace has captured the attention of opponents. He has deftly distributed to teammates, as evidenced by the five assists and one goal in a win over St. Luke’s. He was named the Lohud Player of the Week after a 17-point effort in a three-game stretch.
“After that I felt like there were four guys on my back every time I got the puck,’’ Lambert said. “I definitely changed my role. I just found my teammates open and it worked out pretty well.”
Lambert said scoring the game’s opening goal against Scarsdale, the state’s top-ranked team, during a recent tournament was one indication this season was unlike previous years. “That got us going and kept us going for the rest of the game,’’ he said. “We lost to them, but we competed for three periods. I think that got their attention.”
Lambert started skating at age 3 and played for the Bedford Bears as a youngster. He also has played for the Westchester Mariners in Rye and Brewster Bulldogs. He said he considered playing for elite programs, but wanted to remain with his friends at Harvey.
“I’ve been playing with the same group since I was pretty young,’’ Lambert said. “I’ve been in contact with coaches over the years, but I wanted to stay with my friends. Home is where the heart is.”
Lambert is thinking of taking a postgraduate year after he graduates and compete for a Founders League school, such as Avon Old Farms or Choate Rosemary Hall. Some of the top National Hockey League prospects play in the league. Lambert would then attend college after his postgraduate year.
Lambert, an honor roll student, also played lacrosse and soccer while attending Harvey, and he believes those other sports have helped him. “Scoring’s always been a natural instinct,’’ he said. “It’s probably one of my favorite things to do. I’ve always played lacrosse, and that has definitely helped. I can find small holes.”
After hockey, Lambert will have one more lacrosse season for the Cavaliers. The primary focus now, however, is leading the Cavaliers to a league championship. And setting a milestone that will stand in Harvey’s history books for a very long time.
“We started off 1-5 but we’ve played better and now we’re over .500,’’ he said. “I’m definitely happy now.”
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