Riverhead girls basketball alumni took to the court yesterday in a benefit game to support a youth program.
“The number of girls trying out has been dwindling,” said Jalyn Brown, captain of the 2012 L.I. championship team and coach of the girls junior varsity team in Riverhead. A youth program would build interest in the sport and teach players the skills they need to succeed on the court in varsity play.
Brown organized yesterday’s event, which brought together nearly all of her teammates in that magical season when the Waves went 23-1 and made it to the state final four.
“Our team has been bugging me to have an alumni game,” said Brown, a five-year varsity player and team captain in high school.
It was Blue versus White shirts on the court yesterday. The 2012 team played together on the white-shirted squad and proved they still had the magic, defeating the Blue team 71-45.
A good-sized crowd of supporters turned out for the event, the first of its kind for the girls’ program.
Former assistant coach Jim Janacek was on hand and did the honors of presenting plaques to three women who held team records for career three-pointers, going back more than 20 years. The first was the coach’s own daughter, Ana Janacek, who set the record for career three-point shots at 104 in 1994. Her record was broken a decade later by Jessica Rourke, who reached a career 124 in 2004. Rourke’s record remained intact until Katie McCarney shattered it this year when she reached 142.
The day was a lot of fun, Brown said, who said the plan is to make it an annual event.
In addition to the game, there was a chinese auction and 50-50 raffle held to support the program.
RiverheadLOCAL photos by Denise Civiletti and George Faella