Monday Briefing: Can Blue Waves girls hoops win a state title?

ROBERT O'ROURK FILE PHOTO | Riverhead guard Melodee Riley has posted career scoring highs in two of the Waves' three playoff wins to date.

Basketball is one of the toughest high school sports to end your season on a win and the Riverhead girls basketball team is about to find out why.

The Blue Waves (20-1) are just four wins from a state title and considering they’ve already won 20 games in a row, there’s no reason to believe they can’t go all the way. But in order to do so, they’ll have to play in five consecutive finals games at neutral sites far from home.

First up is tomorrow night’s Suffolk County Class AA final against unbeaten League IV champion Hauppauge (21-0) at 5 p.m. on the campus of Farmingdale State College. If you can’t make the opening tip you can follow along with our live blog, where we’ll be updating the score with every basket.

If the Waves can win that one they’ll be guaranteed at least two more games, a non-elimination Section XI final against the small schools champion Friday at Farmingdale and a critical Long Island title game against the Nassau County champion at Hofstra University March 10.

A win in the L.I. championship would send Riverhead to Glens Falls for the state semifinals on March 17 for a chance to play for the state title the following day.

It’s a grueling schedule that will see them play nothing but the best teams moving forward, and they’ll have to play each high-stakes game more than an hour away from home.

They’ll face bigger teams with talented players and big-game experience. But the way this Riverhead team is playing, there’s no reason to believe the winning has to stop anytime soon.

• Speaking of states, congratulations to the three Shoreham-Wading River wrestlers who made all-state this weekend.

• Blame it on Meryl! We had no winners in our Oscars challenge this year, with no one correctly picking Meryl Streep as the Best Actress winner. I also failed to correctly pick Meryl in my column last week, but got 20 out of 24 right in my Oscar pool at home to secure the grand prize: a bottle of Coppola pinot noir.

• The News-Review wishes Kay Davis of Hairstyles in Motion well in her retirement. More than 30 years in business in this town is quite the impressive feat and we wish her well in future endeavors.

• Do you have a tattoo and a story to tell about it?

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