Blog Recap: Blue Waves win L.I. Championship, 56-50

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Kaila Nazario drives against Baldwin Friday night.

Pack your bags, the Blue Waves area headed to Troy and the state final four.

Riverhead won a thriller, 56-50, against Nassau champ Baldwin in front of a raucous crowd at Farmingdale State College Friday night to clinch the Class AA Long Island Championship.

ROBERT O'ROURK PHOTO | Riverhead senior Jalyn Brown drives to the hoop against Baldwin Friday night.

The Blue Waves are two wins away from a state title. They’ll play in the final four a week from tonight against either Penfield or Lockport.

The Blue Waves put on a clinic at the free-throw line down the stretch to close out the game against the Bruins. Junior Kaila Nazario hit four clutch free throws and senior Jalyn Brown helped ice the game with a pair of free throws with under 30 seconds left to make it a two-possession game.

Riverhead trailed early in the game 19-10 before a 9-0 run to tie it. The Blue Waves trailed again in the fourth before taking the lead 50-48 on a pair of free throws by Nazario with 1:22 left. Baldwin got two good looks on its next possession and couldn’t score. The Bruins controlled the rebound and called timeout with 1:05 left. Baldwin senior Alexandra Hampton missed a shot and Nazario got the rebound. She was fouled and hit both free throws.

The Blue Waves won their 23rd straight game and closed out Baldwin’s season at 19-2. The Bruins were the defending Long Island champions.

Riverhead senior Melodee Riley led the Blue Waves with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Senior Jalyn Brown scored 9 and junior Shanice Allen added 11.

Hampton led Baldwin with a game-high 20 points. Senior Amber Harrison added 15. Senior Ayanna Hudson had 14 rebounds and Janae De’Graff had 10.

Below is a live blog from Friday’s game: