Expectations were high around the Riverhead girls basketball team entering the year. By the time the calendar flipped to 2016, the Blue Waves already had five wins under their belt en route to their best season since 2012.
The Blue Waves lost only twice in the calendar year of 2016 and were crowned the League III champions when they defeated West Islip on Feb. 9. In that game, a familiar name did a lot of the damage: Sam Dunn. The four-year varsity player and senior scored 26 points with 12 rebounds in the victory as the Blue Waves improved to 13-1 in league.
The win set the stage for what the Blue Waves hoped to be a deep playoff run similar to 2012 when they were Long Island champions. The team opened the playoffs with a thrilling 64-62 victory over Half Hollow Hills East when Kim Ligon came up with a key block with eight seconds left to halt the Hills East comeback. The Blue Waves advanced to play second-seeded Commack, where the season came to an end. Commack sent the Blue Waves packing with a 73-51 victory.
In the loss, Dunn surpassed 1,000 career points, becoming only the fifth player in school history to reach the milestone. The game was briefly paused after Dunn’s first-quarter layup put her at the 1,000-point mark. She scored 21 points in the loss to finish her career with 1,016 points.
Dunn is now a member of the LIU Post basketball team.