NORTH SALEM, N.Y.— The North Salem boys basketball team had itself a battle against Brewster on Sunday, Jan. 29.

The second half saw both teams put together runs and were tied after four quarters. Yet it was the Bears who had the final run of the game, scoring all seven points in overtime to defeat the Tigers 53-46 at North Salem High School.

“We battled today,” North Salem coach Henry Sassone said. “Brewster did a good job stopping our penetration inside with great help defense.”

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North Salem’s best stretch of the game came when it went on a 16-0 run in the third quarter to jump to a 41-31 lead. Chris Alterio scored seven of his team-high 12 points and Kenny Martin scored all six of his points with two 3-pointers during the run.

“We were moving the ball and scoring in transition a bit,” Sassone said.

Brewster answered North Salem with a 15-0 run of its own to reclaim the lead, 46-41. Guard Harry Dignam, who led all scorers with 20 points, began the Bears’ rally by scoring eight consecutive points.

While Dignam spearheaded the Bears, North Salem played without point guard Miles D’Alessandro, who is out indefinitely due to illness. Despite the loss, Sassone said it wasn’t the deciding factor.

“It’s a big loss, but our philosophy is next man up,” he said. “We should have never lost that 10-point lead. We lost it because we didn’t execute at both ends of the floor when we needed to.”

North Salem did hold Brewster scoreless the final three minutes of the game and rallied to tie the game as John Martabano scored five consecutive points, including a bucket with 12 seconds left to force overtime.

In the extra time, Dignam scored five of Brewster’s seven points, including a 3-pointer on the first possession. North Salem missed all nine of its shots.

In the first half, it was Dignam’s brother, Connor, who scored nine of his 11 points in that time frame as the Bears took a 26-22 lead into halftime. North Salem was paced by seven different scorers, led by Alterio’s five points.

Moving forward, Sassone hopes his players will look to fill the void at point guard in D’Alessandro’s absence.

“It was a great opportunity to find another player to step up and get it done,” he said. “Unfortunately, it didn’t happen today.”

North Salem began the week with a split against Putnam Valley and Haldane in two league games.

On Wednesday, it fell to host Putnam Valley, 55-44. Putnam Valley jumped out to a 19-9 lead at the end of the first quarter which North Salem couldn’t recover from. D’Alessandro led North Salem with 11 points while Austin Waldron added eight.

On Friday night, North Salem defeated host Haldane for the second time this season in convincing fashion, 75-52.

North Salem used a 25-point second quarter against the defending Section 1 Class C sectional champ to cruise to victory.

Ryan Donovan, who led the team with 19 points in the first contest between the two teams, decimated the Blue Devils once again with 22 points, including six from three-point range. D’Alessandro scored 16 points while Alterio added 14. Waldron chipped in with nine points while Martin dished out seven assists.

North Salem’s record currently stands at 11-3 as the Tigers head into two more league contests this week. They host Putnam Valley at 7 p.m. on Feb. 3 and travel to Pawling for a 6:15 game three days later.