Hundreds of fans turn out to honor Riverhead basketball team at parade

GIANNA VOLPE PHOTO | The Riverhead girls basketball team is escorted down Main Street during Sunday's parade.

After all the practices, hard work and ultimately victories, it was time for a party Sunday.

The Riverhead girls basketball team celebrated its first Long Island Championship with a parade down Main Street under a beautiful blue sky Sunday afternoon.


Hundreds of fans poured into the streets to cheer on the Blue Waves, who in March advanced to the Class AA state semifinals, before falling to Penfield.

“I’m here to celebrate with the town,” said Willie Allen, whose daughter Shanice was a second-team All-Long Island guard. “It came out of nowhere and they won it all. Nobody expected them to be that good.”

The Blue Waves lost only twice all season, in their first game and their final game. In between they completed an unprecedented run that saw coach Dave Spinella win his 100th career game and guards Jalyn Brown and Allen surpass 1,000 career points. Allen, a junior, will be back next season.

“This is the second time I’m signing autographs,” Allen said. “The first time was the Long Island Championship.”

She called the parade a “crazy, wild” experience.

“It feels good to be a winner,” she said.

Senator Ken LaValle and Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walter were both on hand to celebrate with the team.

Fans were decked out in blue all across Main Street.

“I’m here to support them,” said Riverhead resident John Hale. “It’s a good day for a parade. You got to support the kids.”

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Reporting by Gianna Volpe