02/05/15 9:35pm
02/05/2015 9:35 PM
One of Riverhead's three seniors, Cassidy Brown, looks for shooting room while being guarded by Centereach's Alicia Indence. (Credit: Garret Meade)

One of Riverhead’s three seniors, Cassidy Brown, looks for shooting room while being guarded by Centereach’s Alicia Indence. (Credit: Garret Meade)

BLUE WAVES 58, COUGARS 33

Senior Night is different. Senior Night is special. It’s not a typical game night, especially not if you’re one of the seniors being recognized.

As much as one may prepare for it, the emotions of the event can get the better of people. So when the Riverhead High School girls basketball coach, Dave Spinella, delivered heartfelt remarks about the three seniors on his team, tears flowed, with the notable exception being Amanda Baron, who has a reputation for being calm, cool and collected.

Starting with the team manager, senior Mieko Vail, Riverhead’s seniors were introduced by Spinella to the crowd during a pregame ceremony on Thursday night. Cassidy Brown, Baron and Joanna Messina took their turns listening to Spinella say some nice words about them. Then they hugged their coaches, were handed flowers and met their parents at center court for pictures.

Moments later, the Blue Waves went about another tradition: winning on Senior Night. (more…)

01/22/15 7:23pm
01/22/2015 7:23 PM
Riverhead guard Faith Johnson-DeSilvia drives to the basket Thursday against Hills West. (Credit: Bill Landon)

Riverhead guard Faith Johnson-DeSilvia drives to the basket Thursday against Hills West. (Credit: Bill Landon)

BLUE WAVES 64, COLTS 33

As Sam Dunn put it, the Blue Waves had to take their lumps last year. On a team that featured three eighth-graders playing prominent minutes, some difficult stretches were expected.

But that was last year.

This year? Well, the eighth-graders are still only freshmen, but that extra year experience has proved to make a world of difference.  (more…)

01/04/15 12:00pm
01/04/2015 12:00 PM
Riverhead girls coach Dave Spinella goes over instructions with the Blue Waves at practice. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Riverhead girls coach Dave Spinella and his team at a practice earlier this season. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk, file)

The best in people can emerge during trying times.

I have known Dave Spinella for a dozen years or so. I have seen him develop players, make them better, prepare them for the varsity level and assemble winning girls basketball teams for Riverhead High School. I have seen him win the right way, with class. I have seen him handle defeat with dignity.

And yet, for all he has done as a coach on the basketball court, Spinella’s shining moment, for me, came the day after Christmas when he issued a public apology for making public comments critical of his team following a loss. (more…)

12/26/14 5:38pm
12/26/2014 5:38 PM

Dave Spinella on the sideline during a 2012 game. (Credit: Garret Meade, file)

Dave Spinella on the sideline during a 2012 game. (Credit: Garret Meade, file)

Dave Spinella said he is sorry. He is not sorry for what he said; he is sorry for who he said it to.

Riverhead High School’s girls basketball coach issued a mea culpa the day after Christmas. In what amounts to a public apology to his players and their parents, Spinella said he was wrong to state in a postgame interview that his players lacked heart. (more…)

12/22/14 5:37pm
12/22/2014 5:37 PM
One of Riverhead's starting freshmen, Faith Johnson-DeSilvia, brought the Blue Waves 12 points and 8 rebounds against Eastport/South Manor. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

One of Riverhead’s starting freshmen, Faith Johnson-DeSilvia, brought the Blue Waves 12 points and 8 rebounds against Eastport/South Manor. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

SHARKS 54, BLUE WAVES 50

Any semblance of holiday cheer was wiped off Dave Spinella’s face. He wasn’t happy, and that’s putting it mildly.

The Riverhead High School girls basketball coach said his team showed “no heart” in its 54-50 non-league loss to Eastport/South Manor on Monday.

“We have no energy, no heart,” Spinella said after meeting with his players following the contest at Eastport/South Manor High School, the final game before Christmas for both teams. “We have no fire. We don’t have passion.” (more…)

12/03/14 7:00pm
12/03/2014 7:00 PM
Riverhead girls coach Dave Spinella goes over instructions with the Blue Waves at practice. (Credit: Robert O'Rourk)

Riverhead girls coach Dave Spinella goes over instructions with the Blue Waves at practice. (Credit: Robert O’Rourk)

From ankle to hamstring to foot injuries, the Riverhead girls basketball team has one mission at the start of the 2014-15 season: get healthy.

The Blue Waves, a team flush with young, talented players, has been struck with the injury bug to start the season.  (more…)

08/07/14 1:00pm
08/07/2014 1:00 PM
Riverhead guard Kate McCarney drives toward the basket against Deer Park Wednesday night. (Credit: Garret Meade)

Riverhead guard Kate McCarney drives toward the basket against Deer Park Wednesday night. (Credit: Garret Meade)

FALCONS 30, BLUE WAVES 26

More often than not, summer league basketball games wind up offensively challenged. Teams run few, if any, set plays. There are limited time-outs to make adjustments. Lineups are constantly shuffled.  (more…)