CARMEL, N.Y. - The North Salem boys varsity basketball team fell behind big after one quarter at the Putnam Challenge at Carmel High School, Saturday, Jan. 5, but fought back to make it a game, outscoring Haldane the rest of the way before eventually falling short, 53-43, in one of three games played in the tournament.

The Tigers got off to a slow start, trailing 22-5 after the first quarter, thanks to 15 straight points by Haldane. But the Tigers rallied, outscoring Haldane 38-31 the rest of the way. They eventually got within 6 points of Haldane with 2:09 left in the fourth quarter before the Blue Devils eventually pulled away.

Tiger coach Henry Sassone blamed the slow start on being without senior captain Timothy Outhouse and two others, but he said he was still surprised.

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“We were coming off a big win [the day before] against Port Chester and I thought it might carry through,” he said.

Despite the shaky start, Sassone was able to rally his team to make a comeback.

“I challenged them at halftime,” he said. “I told them they had to play basketball, to compete. Hopefully, we sent a message that will translate to our next practice.”

Being short three players allowed some playing time for others.

“I changed lineups and tried different things” Sassone said.

 Junior Kevin Ryan led the Tigers (4-2) with 19 points, while senior captain Austin Waldron chipped in with 11 points.

They were scheduled to play a home game against Biondi Tuesday, Jan.8.