The Lady Blue Waves' dream basketball season came to an end Friday night in Troy at the hands of an undefeated Penfield Patriots squad with a 67-49 loss.
One loss away from the state championship game, the Riverhead girls' basketball team still made it further than it ever had before, after taking its with a win over Baldwin last week.
But Friday night, the girls met a bigger Penfield team led by 5-foot-11 Margot Hetzke, a sophomore who kept the Blue Waves from penetrating the defense and was a force to be reckoned with on the offensive side of the ball. Twins Shelia and Michelle Nesselbush combined for over 20 points as well.
"We had it today but Penfield was just a tough team to beat," said guard Kaila Nazario, via twitter.
The Blue Waves were stifled on the offensive side of the ball, as guard Shanice Allen finished with two points and Jalyn Brown, who led the Blue Waves all season long, struggled to get through the Patriots' zone defense.
Penfield jumped out to a 10-3 lead early on. Though the Patriots committed nine turnovers in the first quarter, Riverhead committed five of their own. The Blue Waves cut the deficit to 14-10 to end the first quarter, and the Patriots kept the Blue Waves from finding a rhythm from then on out.
Penfield went on a 10-0 run to start the second quarter, leading 24-10, and didn't look back. Riverhead fell to a 31-18 deficit at the half.
Nazario put up a trio of three-pointers in the third quarter, but Penfield returned with baskets of their own. After a 55-35 score after three, Blue Waves head coach Dave Spinella cleared the bench to get some younger players in as the clock struck zero.
"I'm so proud of my whole team," said Marta Czaplak, via twitter. "They're my second family and I wouldnt change it for the world. I'm not upset we lost, I'm upset that its over."