Sam Dunn scores her 1,000 point during tonight's playoff game in Commack, where she put 21 on the board. Photo: George Faella

High school basketball may be just a sport but to the 13 Riverhead girls who competed in the Suffolk County Class AA quarterfinals against Commack tonight, basketball means family.

Basketball brings a team together for a common goal. While chasing that goal, you grow, you learn, you fail, you succeed. Ideally you want to win it all. Of course you want to be the best. But it doesn’t always work out that way. Most seasons don’t turn out to be storybook endings.

Even though Riverhead lost the game 73-51, they really won. Each one of those girls got better this season. What more can you ask of them?

Before Riverhead took the court, they broke the huddle on a three-count with a crisp, “Family!”

It’s only right. You win as a family and you lose like a family.

The loss knocks the Blue Waves out of the playoffs which marks the end of an era. Sam Dunn and Dezarae Brown have played their last games as Blue Waves.

Dunn scored 21 points, 18 of which came in the first half when she was completely zoned in. The game was stopped in the first quarter to congratulate Dunn on scoring her 1,000th career point. She received a standing ovation as the announcer said it over the loudspeaker. Dezarae Brown added six points.

They both received standing ovations as they were brought off the floor late in the fourth quarter. Both were visibly distraught.

Losses hurt. The Blue Waves battled to the bitter end. Commack was just the better team on the court.

The future is bright for Riverhead with three sophomores in the starting lineup. Two members of the family will step in for Dunn and Brown and it’ll all start again.

RiverheadLOCAL photos by George Faella

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