My, how times have changed, but that’s the way it is in high school girls basketball. Change is inevitable.
It wasn’t all that long ago when North Babylon was the envy of Suffolk County, a perennially strong team, winning one league title after another. Riverhead was among its admiring opponents.
Now Riverhead is the high-flying team while North Babylon has hit hard times. The change in their circumstances was underscored Tuesday when Riverhead rolled, 70-22, over the struggling visitors from North Babylon.
The Blue Waves (11-3, 9-1), who have already booked a playoff place for the 12th time in 14 years, are chasing what would be their first league championship since 2012. They began the day in a first-place tie with Huntington atop League III.
Riverhead looked in playoff form Tuesday. A hint of what was to come arrived just three seconds into the game. After the Blue Waves won the opening tip-off, Kim Ligon darted a pass to Faith Johnson-DeSilvia for a quick layup. The Blue Waves were off and running.
They went on to score the game’s first 16 points (7 each from Sam Dunn and Johnson-DeSilvia) before North Babylon (1-13, 1-9) finally recorded its first points on a Rainna Brown layup 5:48 into the game.
The Blue Waves went on to stretch their lead to 33-4 late in the second quarter. By then Dunn and Johnson-DeSilvia both had 9 points.
North Babylon had serious shooting trouble, opening the game on a 1-for-21 funk. In the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs managed only 1 point from an Alanna Felix free throw. They missed their last 12 field-goal attempts and shot 16.7 percent (8 of 48) for the game.
Meanwhile, the Blue Waves shot a healthy 44.4 percent (24 of 54) and won the rebounding battle, 38-25.
Dunn shot 5 of 9 from the field (2 of 2 from 3-point distance) and 7 of 8 from the foul line to finish with 19 points. The senior forward also pulled down 12 rebounds. Johnson-DeSilvia provided 13 points and Madelyn Batista came off the bench for 11.
Sabrina Powell was North Babylon’s top scorer with 13 points.
Photo caption: Riverhead’s Mary Reiter splits North Babylon’s Angelina Prevete (15) and Barbara Orsini. (Credit: Garret Meade)