Featured Story
09/10/16 6:29pm
09/10/2016 6:29 PM

Riverhead football player Chris DeBose 091016

First it was the Bulldogs and then the Lions that took nice-sized bites out of the Riverhead High School football team. Now the Blue Waves must feel a sense of relief, with a bye week to look forward to and the roughest part of their schedule in the books.

Jake Guercio passed for two touchdowns, ran for another and Drew Cestaro picked up 104 rushing yards, including a 23-yard touchdown, as the West Islip Lions rolled over Riverhead, 41-0, at Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field on a steamy Saturday afternoon.
READ

Featured Story
04/20/16 6:59pm
04/20/2016 6:59 PM

Riverhead softball player Kim Ligon 042016

Bye, bye playoffs.

The Riverhead High School softball team will not return to the postseason this year. Thanks to the busy bats of West Islip’s offense and the strong right arm of its standout pitcher, Rachel Wandzilak, Riverhead was eliminated from playoff contention Wednesday. A 15-2 defeat to West Islip in a five-inning game shortened by the mercy rule did the trick.
READ

09/13/14 6:44pm
09/13/2014 6:44 PM
Riverhead's Raheem Brown evading West Islip's Joe Rushton during Saturday's season-opening game. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

Riverhead’s Raheem Brown evading West Islip’s Joe Rushton during Saturday’s season-opening game. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)

BLUE WAVES 28, LIONS 25

An overcast, gray day got uglier in the second half when rain began to fall, lightly at first, and then with growing intensity, making for slick conditions and a slippery football. That was fitting enough because Riverhead was turning in a performance that was at once disturbing and ugly. But what the Blue Waves lacked in points for artistry, they made up for in drama and excitement.

The Blue Waves, defending Suffolk County Division II champions, dodged a bullet in their season opener on Saturday, narrowly averting an upset loss to West Islip in the final seconds. Steven Reid III pulled in an 18-yard touchdown reception with 15.1 seconds left to play, allowing the Blue Waves to escape with a 28-25 result in their favor at Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field in Riverhead.

Call it Riverhead magic. (more…)

01/14/14 10:29pm
01/14/2014 10:29 PM

BLUE WAVES 58, LIONS 51

The Riverhead High School boys basketball team certainly lived dangerously on Tuesday night.

Every time the Blue Waves grabbed a 10-point lead, West Islip would come charging back to make it close and interesting.

But when push came to shove in the fourth quarter, they withstood a late comeback attempt by the Lions and recorded a 58-51 win in Suffolk County League III action in West Islip.

“We got that 10-point lead, it came down to six, 10, six. We couldn’t get it to 15,” coach John Rossetti said. “To their credit, they knocked down a couple of three-pointers in a row to cut it tight. You know what? We finished them off when we had to.”

Coupled with a 64-30 victory over Centereach last Thursday, the Blue Waves (3-8, 2-5) won back-to-back games for the first time this season as West Islip fell to 1-10, 1-6.

“You now what? We’ll take it,” Rossetti said. “It’s another win, another notch in our belt. It wasn’t our best effort over all, but we’re finding a way to win and that’s an improvement from earlier in the year.

“Give the kids credit. They’ve never been down on themselves. They’re continuing to work. They’re going to continue to push. It’s nice getting the two wins, don’t get me wrong, but this team knows there’s more in them.”

Especially for a young team. The Blue Waves started and finished with three sophomores.

“It’s not about sophomores, it’s about team,” Rossetti said. “There’s a lot of kids who came off the bench who gave us good, quality minutes. That’s what a team’s about.”

Still, the sophomores did make a contribution. Guard/forward Charles Manning led the way with 12 points, adding 7 rebounds, 4 blocked shots and 2 steals. Forward Tyrese Kerr added 7 points and 6 rebounds. Lintell Brown came off the bench to score 9 points.

“He’s fearless,” Rossetti said of Manning. “He’s a tough ball player and he’s long. He’s deceptive.”

When he was asked about his favorite part of the game, Manning replied, “Defense, because defense wins games and often sells tickets.”

Rather than just talk about it, the 6-foot Manning demonstrated it by blocking 6-foot-5 center Bill Hellem’s shot with 1 minute 24 seconds remaining in the third quarter to preserve a 41-31 lead.

“He got up there, one that he took off the rim basically and he got another key one when they were on a two-on-one fast break and he came in and erased another shot,” Rossetti said. “That takes four points off the board. In a close ball game like that, you don’t recognize it early, but you look at it late. They were crucial plays.”

The Blue Waves led for virtually the entire game. They enjoyed a 13-3 advantage early in the second quarter before West Islip whittled it to 15-12 with 2:24 remaining. But the Blue Waves ran off an 9-0 spurt and a 14-4 tear to go into the locker room with a 29-16 lead. Brown had 5 points during that surge, which saw five Riverhead players score.

In the third quarter, West Islip came within 33-29 with 5:10 left before the Blue Waves rattled off 8 straight points — 5 on Deon Shorter’s five free throws en route to his 10-point game.

In the fourth period, the Lions made the visitors sweat a bit again, moving within 49-43 with 4:16 remaining, but the Blue Waves managed to score a couple of key baskets and sink a few foul shots down the stretch, including two by Manning to seal the game with 20 seconds remaining.

“It was pretty frustrating,” senior forward Brandon Tolliver said about Riverhead’s inability to pull away. “But we knew what we had to do defensively to try to help us hold the lead.”

Riverhead had another encouraging performance from Tolliver, who had been slowed down in his recovery from a knee injury with a knock on his left knee. He contributed 10 points, 9 rebounds and 1 blocked shot.

“I’m coming back slowly, but surely,” he said. “I feel better, feel great actually. I’m grabbing more rebounds and I feel that I’m being more active that what I was before the knock-up with my knee.”

10/26/13 8:14pm
10/26/2013 8:14 PM
ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead's Rahemm Brown, left, and Ryan Harkin wrap up West Islip's Max McNichols for a loss.

ROBERT O’ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead’s Raheem Brown, left, and Ryan Harkin wrap up West Islip’s Max McNichols for a loss.

BLUE WAVES 33, LIONS 21

Senior running back Jeremiah Cheatom ran for 230 yards and three touchdowns to spark Riverhead to a 33-21 victory over West Islip in a Suffolk County Division II football game at Coach Mike McKillop Memorial Field on Saturday afternoon.

The win solidified the Blue Waves’ prospects of hosting at least one game in the upcoming playoffs, which are to begin on the weekend of Nov. 9.

The first half was a see-saw battle.

Riverhead (6-1) grabbed a 7-0 lead on Darren Jefferson’s 30-yard touchdown reception and Dylan Pace’s’ point after with 3 minutes 33 seconds remaining in the first quarter, but West Islip (5-2) tied it on quarterback Sam Iliaro’s one-yard run and Liam O’Donnell’s ensuing PAT 29 seconds into the second period.

The Blue Waves retook the lead on Cheatom’s 48-yard scoring run on the next possession with 9:47 remaining in the half, but could only extend the margin to 13-7 as Pace failed to convert the extra point.

Iliaro’s 20-yard TD run and O’Donnell’s point after boosted the visitors into a 14-13 halftime lead.

Senior quarterback Cody Smith’s three-yard run and sophomore running back Ryun Moore’s successful two-point run lifted the Blue Waves into a 21-14 advantage they would not relinquish with 5:15 left in the third quarter.

Cheatom, who carried the ball 36 times, including on 23 occasions in the second half, sandwiched a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown runs around a West Islip score. He ran in from 12 yards with 10:15 remaining and from five yards with 4:09 left.

Iliaro had a one-yard run for West Islip with 7:03 to go in the game. The Blue Waves finish their regular season next week at Newfield, 22-8 winners over Central Islip on Saturday.