Not even the combination of exhaustion and emotion could slow Sam Dunn.
The Riverhead senior had 21 points and 14 rebounds on her Senior Night in Thursday’s 74-32 win over visiting Centereach in Suffolk III. Dunn, who worked relentlessly under the basket, was physically and mentally drained after the game.
“This is a night I’ve dreaded for a long time,” she said, choked up. “So it’s hard to come to the end.”
Dunn was dominant, scoring eight points during a 13-3 run in the first quarter and nine points during Riverhead’s 20-point third.
Riverhead gave Centereach fits with Dunn and Dezarae Brown in the low post. Brown, also a senior, is 6 feet with an impressive vertical leap, and Dunn is 5-10 with a never-ending motor. Brown grabbed 14 rebounds of her own before fouling out with 5:12 left.
Coach David Spinella spoke highly of Brown and Dunn in the pregame introductions, saying, “Their names have become synonymous with winning.”
Winning has been Dunn’s goal since earning a spot on varsity as a freshman.
“When I was in eighth grade, I came to every single one of the 2012 games,” Dunn said of the 2012 Long Island Class AA champion Blue Waves. “I looked up to them; they were my idols. Ever since then, this has been everything to me.”
Riverhead (14-3, 12-1) has a chance to follow in that team’s footsteps because of a deep bench and balanced starting lineup. Sophomore guard Faith Johnson-DeSilvia adds an element of flash to the Blue Waves, making passes that have defenders looking quizzically for the ball.
She was electric Thursday, filling the stat sheet with 14 points, six assists, five rebounds and five steals. Mary Reiter (10 points), Kim Ligon (seven) and Kate McCarney (six) were beneficiaries of her unselfish play.
Johnson-DeSilvia is confident the Blue Waves’ depth will push them through the postseason. “Some teams focus on one good player,” she said. “But we’re all good players.”