NORTH SALEM, N.Y. – North Salem boys basketball will rely on an experienced roster of versatile players as they look to improve on last year’s first-round playoff exit.

“Everyone who is on the team has been in the program,” said Chris Regan, the first-year varsity coach who spent the last 14 years coaching junior varsity.

The roster is made up of four returning seniors, two returning juniors, and six newcomers with JV or freshman basketball experience. The Tigers will be led by co-captains Steven Herlihy and Kevin Ryan.

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Ryan, an All-League guard a year ago, has been on the varsity team since his freshman year.

“He’s sort of the engine that’s going to drive the team,” Regan said.

North Salem’s deep bench of guards, wings and forwards can create match-up problems for opponents, the coach said.

“We have big guys who can go on the perimeter and we have some guards who can play on the inside, too,” Regan said. “We’re going to be a little harder to defend.”

Regan is also excited about his team’s athleticism, which can create some transition opportunities. The deep bench will also allow the Tigers to play fast and rotate often.

“We have the ability to play a 94-foot game; press and trap if we need to,” Regan said. “There’s not really a weak link.”

Rounding out the roster are sophomore Roger Squire, junior Eric D’Amato, junior Anthony Foglia, junior Aidan Houlihan, junior Paul Lulaj, junior Christian Norberto, junior Shane Waldron, senior Emmet Halton, and senior Michael Horan.

Regan has liked what he’s seen from a chemistry standpoint so far in practice.

“They really enjoy playing together,” Regan said. “When you have kids who like each other, the team cohesion is pretty good. That’s something that any coach wants.”

This will be Regan’s 20th year coaching basketball at North Salem: five with the modified team and 14 with the JV team.

The Tigers open their season at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 3, at home against The Leffell School. They face some tough challenges early on against the likes of Woodlands (Dec. 9) and Byram Hills (Dec. 13).

League play will pick up in January as North Salem looks to hang with perennial contenders, Putnam Valley and Haldane.

“We talked about trying to get off to the good start,” Regan said. “We also talked about doing anything we can to compete with Putnam Valley and Haldane for a league title.”