First game of the season, on the road, with a young lineup, North Salem coach Henry Sassone was expecting some opening game jitters.
What he was not expecting was a barrage of long-range jumpers falling through the net for host Children’s Village as the Hawks were red hot from downtown.
The end result would be an 80-73 loss for North Salem to start the season as the Tigers fell behind by 12 at the half and could not rally past the Hawks on Dec. 2.
The difference would be the outside shooting of Children’s Village as the Hawks drained 10 3-pointers to build a 63-49 lead after three quarters. The Tigers tried to rally back, but it was too little, too late.
“A lot of jitters, but no excuses, we’re young and we didn’t play well,” Sassone said. “We played hard, we scored some points, but we didn’t rebound well. Second half we played a little bit better, but too many turnovers, too many missed shots, too many missed opportunities and they shot the lights out.”
Especially Tyrone Jenkins as the senior connected on five treys, including three from way downtown at the start of the second half as the Hawks built their largest lead of the game at 56-36.
North Salem responded with a 9-2 run of its own to cut into the lead, but the Hawks closed out the third quarter with a 14-point lead.
Chris Alterio, who paced the Tigers with 28 points, sparked the Tigers as they rallied back in the fourth quarter. North Salem started the quarter with a 12-2 run as Alterio scored eight points to cut the lead down to 70-61, but the Tigers could not get any closer.
“He was NBA range,” Sassone said of Jenkins. “We went to a triangle-and-two to take him out of the game a bit and made a little run, but it was just too much for us. We had it down to nine with three possessions and we didn’t score.”
Miles D’Alessandro scored 15 points, and freshman Austin Waldron was also in double figures with 12 points. John Martabano (nine points), Kevin Roach (four points), Tim Outhouse (three) and Geordan Mallas (two) all chipped in for the Tigers.
The Tigers had five underclassmen in the starting lineup with a junior (D’Alessandro), two sophomores (Alterio and Roach), and two freshmen (Waldron and Outhouse), and they kept coming back and played hard to the end.
“We have to go back to work tomorrow, we have a lot to do,” Sassone said. “We knew it was going to take a while, we start two freshmen and two sophomores, and we only had nine players today because of injuries. We’ll continue to work and continue to get better.”
The Tigers will host Valhalla on Monday, Dec. 14, at 6 p.m.