One of the things about being around long enough is you get to see coaches come and go. You sure hate to see the good ones go, though, and Dave Spinella is one of the good ones.
Not to make it sound like Spinella, 38, has died or anything like that. He has just stepped down as the Riverhead High School girls basketball coach to embark on a new chapter in his life. That fact was enough to generate more than a few tears last Wednesday night when Spinella coached his final game for the Blue Waves.
Mount Sinai wasn’t going to be denied its second high school girls basketball league championship this season. So, the best Shoreham-Wading River could do was grab a share of it.
That is exactly what the Wildcats did on Saturday.
Sophie Triandafils and her sister Erin are seemingly inseparable. The two Shoreham-Wading River High School athletes play three sports together for the Wildcats: soccer, basketball and lacrosse.
And yet, they maintain their own playing styles and their own individuality.
Emotions are a funny thing. One never quite knows for sure how he will handle his feelings in an emotional moment. They are unpredictable.
For much of the way, Dave Spinella controlled his emotions during an emotional night, his last as coach of the Riverhead High School girls basketball team.
Coach Adam Lievre played the role of soothsayer before last season when he told his Shoreham-Wading River High School girls basketball team that he saw six league wins and six league losses coming from them. That is exactly what the Wildcats did to scratch into the playoffs.
At the Riverhead High School girls basketball team’s first team meeting before the start of the season, Dave Spinella delivered the news. He told his players this was it, his final season as the Blue Waves’ coach.
The decision was a difficult one.
Riverhead’s steep, uphill climb in search of a spot in the high school girls basketball playoffs just became steeper.
As painful as that realization is for the Blue Waves, their heartbreaking loss to Half Hollow Hills East on Friday was especially stinging.
No Liz Dwyer. No problem.
Well, not exactly.
As formidable a high school girls basketball team as Mattituck is, the defending Long Island Class B champions still ran into difficulties Thursday night in the absence of Dwyer, their standout player.