02/14/14 10:01pm
02/14/2014 10:01 PM

SUFFOLK COUNTY CLASS B SEMIFINAL | BAYMEN 69, MONARCHS 36

Sophomore guard Alexis Fotopoulos scored all of her 21 points in the first half, including her 1,000 career point, to pace Hampton Bays to a 69-36 victory over visiting Bishop McGann-Mercy in a Suffolk County Class B girls basketball semifinal on Friday night.

The top-seeded Baymen (17-2) grabbed a 17-6 first-quarter lead and never looked back as the No. 4 Monarchs finished the season with an 11-7 record. (more…)

02/14/14 9:17pm

Shoreham-Wading River junior Courtney Clasen tallied a triple double in the Wildcats’ playoff win over Sayville Friday night. (Bill Landon photo)

CLASS A FIRST ROUND  |  WILDCATS 38, GOLDEN FLASHES 34

Courtney Clasen was admittedly frustrated through most of the first three quarters Friday night. The Shoreham-Wading River junior couldn’t buy a bucket, her team couldn’t hit a free throw and the turnovers continued to pile up.

Sayville opened its largest led of the game at 29-19 with 1:41 left in the third quarter of a Class A first round playoff game, which was slowly slipping away from the fourth-seeded Wildcats. (more…)

02/11/14 9:10pm
02/11/2014 9:10 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | McGann-Mercy guard Kayla Schroeher drives to the basket against Port Jefferson Tuesday night.

CLASS B OUT-BRACKET GAME  |  MONARCHS 49, ROYALS 46

Senior forward Fiona Nunez scored 16 points and freshman guard Mia Behrens added 12 as Bishop McGann-Mercy withstood a late rally to register a 49-46 victory over Port Jefferson in an out-bracket game of the Suffolk County Class B girls basketball tournament in Riverhead on Tuesday night. (more…)

02/10/14 11:10am
02/10/2014 11:10 AM
ROBERT O'ROURK FILE PHOTO | Kayla Schroeher of Bishop McGann-Mercy charging toward the basket while Port Jefferson's Jillian Colucci tries to stop her.

ROBERT O’ROURK FILE PHOTO | Kayla Schroeher of Bishop McGann-Mercy charging toward the basket while Port Jefferson’s Jillian Colucci tries to stop her.

The local girls basketball playoffs start Tuesday when Bishop McGann-Mercy hosts Port Jefferson in a Class B outbracket matchup, Section XI announced Monday morning.  (more…)

02/01/14 8:40pm
02/01/2014 8:40 PM

GARRET MEADE PHOTO | Mia Behrens, who led Bishop McGann-Mercy with 9 points, slices between Southampton’s Margarita Trujillo, left, and Jackie Minogue during Saturday’s non-league game at St. Joseph’s College.

As Bishop McGann-Mercy’s first-year coach, Brian Babst, saw it, it was a win-win situation for his girls basketball team. (more…)

01/28/14 10:50pm
01/28/2014 10:50 PM

DANIEL DE MATO PHOTO  |  Riverhead’s Faith Johnson-DeSilvia sinks a layup past Smithtown East defenders Victoria Redmond (#15) and Sam Delaney.

The Riverhead girls basketball team dropped its third straight game Tuesday night, falling 46-31 at home against Smithtown East. The Blue Waves, who are out of playoff contention, are now 2-9 in League III. The Bulls improved to 9-2 in league. (more…)

01/14/14 6:57pm
01/14/2014 6:57 PM

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead sophomore Sam Dunn scored a team-high 19 points in Tuesday’s loss to West Islip.

LIONS 52, BLUE WAVES 47

Growing pains were to be expected. But they still hurt. And none more than Tuesday night.

For 28 minutes, the Riverhead girls basketball team showed glimpses of why the future looks so bright. A team that resembles more a junior high team with three eighth graders in the starting lineup, the Blue Waves used their speed and size to gradually build an 11-point lead when sophomore Dezarae Brown sank a pair of free throws with 6:32 left against West Islip.

It was the first double-digit lead for Riverhead all game. And just as it looked as if the Blue Waves were about to put away the Lions, it all came crumbling apart.

The Lions, behind a full-court press that the Blue Waves couldn’t shake, rattled off a 17-1 run over the final 5 minutes for a stunning come-from-behind victory, 52-47, at Riverhead High School. It was the fourth straight loss for the Blue Waves, who dropped to 1-6 in League III and 3-7 overall.

Afterward, a dejected Riverhead coach, Dave Spinella, shouldered the blame.

“That’s on me,” he said. “I got to get these kids to finish the game.”

It was the third straight game the Blue Waves lost after holding a fourth-quarter lead, Spinella said. The Blue Waves lost yesterday to Smithtown East by five points. On Saturday, they lost to Smithtown West by three points.

“I’d rather get blown out by 20 every game,” Spinella said. “Because it just means we’re that close. When we’re that close, regardless of our age, when you’re in a game that close, it’s on me as their coach to get them through the rest of it.”

The Blue Waves have been a perennial playoff team under Spinella the past decade. But barring a huge turnaround the second half of the league season, the Blue Waves’ streak of recent playoff appearances will come to an end. Riverhead will need to go 6-1 over its final seven league games to finish with a record that qualifies for the postseason.

For now, the Blue Waves are simply trying to find a way to pull out one of these close games.

“These kids are playing excellent basketball,” Spinella said. “They’re doing everything we ask.”

West Islip senior guard Lindsay Darrell ignited the turnaround for the Lions. She scored nine of her game-high 23 points in the fourth quarter. An all-league player last season, Darrell drained a 3-pointer with 5 minutes left that started the run.

West Islip (7-4, 4-3 League III) forced seven Riverhead turnovers in the quarter, which allowed the Lions to get some easy hoops. Sarah Feminella, Vanessa Constantino and Darrell each scored baskets over a 27-second stretch that got the Lions back within two points at 46-44 with 3:33 left.

Darrell tied the game with a driving layup with 2:40 left. Riverhead briefly regained the lead on a free throw from eighth-grader Faith Johnson-DeSilvia, but Darrell answered right back with another strong drive to the hoop, eluding Riverhead defenders all the way to the basket for a layup.

Riverhead went the final 6:55 without a field goal and shot 1-for-12 in the fourth quarter.

“It’s all about effort,” West Islip coach Chris Scharf said. “The effort wasn’t there in the beginning and it was there in the end, fortunately.”

A longtime coach at West Islip, Scharf said he has faced plenty of young teams over the years. But he noted one difference.

“It’s something to be young, but to be young and talented, which they are, it’s a good thing,” he said.

As if the loss didn’t hurt enough for Riverhead, with 1:45 left in the game, senior Kyra Miller went down hard on a drive to the basket. She remained on the court for several minutes and had to be helped off the court and into the trainer’s room. She didn’t put any pressure on her left leg with an apparent knee injury. The extent of the injury was unclear.

Spinella said he was hoping it was just a twist. Miller is a standout track and field athlete in the spring season.

Miller was the only player to come off the bench for Riverhead until the final minute. She first came into the game midway through the third quarter.

Spinella said the rotations haven’t always been as short and he’s typically looked to sub more in the first half.

“I thought our first group was playing really well,” he said. “Maybe that’s part of it. Just trying to find the right mix. No one does enough wrong to warrant being taken out of the game.”

Sophomore Sam Dunn led the Blue Waves in scoring with 19 points. She was the only player in double figures. Brown added nine and eighth grader Kate McCarney scored eight. She hit two 3-pointers.

Riverhead returns to action Thursday at home against Smithtown West.

joew@timesreview.com