WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. — Any chance to get on the court at the Westchester County Center is a positive experience, and North Salem coach Henry Sassone hopes his Tigers will learn from this one for a chance to rewrite the ending later in the year when it matters most.
North Salem squared off against Edgemont at the County Center in White Plains last Tuesday, Dec. 20, and the Tigers let one slip away. The Tigers led by six at the half, but Edgemont rallied for a 64-59 victory.
It was the first loss of the season for North Salem as the Tigers rebounded for a 60-46 win over Clark Academy to improve to 6-1 overall, and Sassone hopes the experience at the County Center will pay off in the end.
“It was great to get there, a great opportunity for the kids to play on that court and experience the building,” Sassone said. “If we’re fortunate enough to play there in Feburary, I think it will give us an advantage.”
Edgemont led by one point at the end of the first quarter, but North Salem had a strong second quarter led by veterans Miles D’Alessandro and Chris Alterio as the Tigers went into the locker room with a 36-30 lead.
The Panthers, however, came on strong in the third quarter to outscore the Tigers 21-10 and take the lead.
“I felt we had a great first half, but as well as we played in the first half we didn’t do well in the second,” Sassone admitted. “Third quarter we turned the ball over a lot, we didn’t rebound, we missed foul shots, and that put us in the hole. In the end it was a winnable game.”
D’Alessandro scored 23 points to lead the Tigers while Alterio also had a big game with 20 points. Kevin Roach had six points, Austin Waldron had four, Ryan Donovan scored three and Tim Outhouse added two, but it wasn’t enough as Jonas Intner scored a game-high 28 points and the Panthers survived with the win.
Two days later, North Salem hosted the defending Section 1 Class D champions from Clark Academy and the Tigers pulled away for a 60-46 victory.
Sassone, however, was not too happy with the performance despite the victory.
“They gave us all we could handle and we didn’t play well,” Sassone said. “We struggled, we’re not taking advantage of weaknesses. After the holiday we have to get back to work.”
Donovan had the hot hand early on as he scored 11 points in the first quarter to help the Tigers open up a 16-12 lead. The Tigers’ lead was down to four points at the end of third quarter, but they pulled away in the fourth quarter for the win.
Alterio finished with 20 points to lead the way, while D’Alessandro was also in double figures with 15 points. Kenny Martin had four points, while Geordan Mallas and Phil Foglia each had three. Mike Horan added two points.
“We expect more than what we’re doing right now. We’ve got to box out, have to do the basics and we’re not doing them now,” Sassone said. “The games we’ve played well we had three or four guys in double figures and for us to be successful we need to do that. Donovan had a big game tonight. I think he hit his first four shots. We had some good play from Martin and Mallas off the bench. We’re happy to be 6-1 and we’re cautiously optimistic, but we need to get better.”