Trying to win their second Suffolk County Class AA boys basketball tournament game in less than 24 hours, the Riverhead High School Blue Waves put up a valiant effort but fell to host Deer Park, 67-50, on Saturday afternoon.
Junior guard Ryan Bitzer scored a game-high 29 points to pace gritty Riverhead (9-11), which had defeated West Babylon, 73-62, in an out-bracket game on Friday night.
Behind an 11-2 spurt in the second quarter, the No. 19 Blue Waves trailed the third-seeded Falcons, 32-30, at the half. But a fatigued Riverhead team ran out of steam in the second half as the hosts went on a 10-2 spurt to open the third period to grab a 42-32 lead.
The Blue Waves came within 45-38 late in the period before senior guard Kyle Bradford scored 13 of his 15 points over a 4:14 span to help Deer Park (16-3) pull away to a 60-43 advantage.
Senior forward Sean Scott led the Falcons with 22 points and junior guard Keith Williams added 15 points.
Forward Brandon Tolliver contributed 11 points for the Blue Waves.