Riverhead trio lifts Blue Wave to 'AA' title
Jalyn Brown left the game with 3:55 left in the third quarter after hitting her back and neck against the floor. Shanice Allen had to leave in the final 13 seconds of the game after blood was on her hand.
It wasn't easy, but the Riverhead guards achieved their goal from the beginning of the season: Allen (24 points, five rebounds, four assists, four steals) and Brown (11 points, four assists) led No. 3 Riverhead past No. 4 Hauppauge, 60-52, at Farmingdale State Tuesday night to win the Suffolk Class AA girls basketball title.
"This is five years in the making for these kids," Riverhead coach Dave Spinella said. "It's a big deal for Riverhead."
Melodee Riley added 18 points as Riverhead (21-1) won its first county title since winning one in Class B in 1984.
Riverhead plays in the Long Island championship March 9.
It was the first loss of the season for Hauppauge (21-1), which was led by Lauren Descalzo's 17 points. The team entered having hit 149 three-pointers, but Tuesday night made four.
Allen, a junior, scored her 1,000th career point for Riverhead on a foul shot late in the game. "I wasn't really expecting it," she said. "It feels good to have it in a county championship game. I didn't want to lose. We have seven seniors and I didn't want to disappoint them."
Riverhead got a scare when Brown hit her head on the court after her left wrist hit the floor in the second quarter. Brown left the gym for a concussion test and was deemed fine. She returned with 1:46 left in the third quarter, but what else would you expect from the black belt in tae kwon do?
Right after Brown left, Hauppauge pulled within 33-31. Allen and Riley each hit a pair of free throws to make it 37-31 before Brown came running back to the bench. "When she gets knocked down, she gets knocked down hard," said Riley, who is averaging almost 20 points in the playoffs. "It lifted us up when she came back."