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Singh's Strong Basketball Play Lifts North Salem

NORTH SALEM, N.Y. -- Joe Tunas opened the third quarter with a scoring streak for North Salem on Friday in its first-round game with Pawling in the annual North Salem Booster Club Holiday Basketball Tournament.

Tunis gave North Salem a double-digit lead, but Pawling would claw its way back, only to have Umar Singh reinforce the host’s position.

Singh scored nine of his game-high 20 points in the third quarter, sending North Salem to a 57-52 victory over Pawling.

North Salem will play Blind Brook in the championship game on Saturday at 7 p.m. Alexander Hamilton and Pawling meet in the consolation game at 3 p.m. The Tigers have been runners-up in their tournament the last two years.

Terry Beyer added 10 points and Tunis finished with nine points for the Tigers (3-6). The final score was not indicative of play as North Salem led by 13 with 45 seconds in the game.

Tunis hit his first three shots, including a 3-pointer, of the third quarter, hiking North Salem’s lead to 10, 30-20.

“That set the tone for the rest of the game and gave us more confidence,” Singh said. Pawling chipped away at the lead and would close the gap to four points, at 36-32, but a Singh basket restored North Salem’s lead to six. Pawling shaved the lead to three -38-35 -when Singh delivered a huge play.

He grabbed an offensive rebound, went up strong for the basket, and was fouled. He swished the free throw, making the score, 41-35.

“I just followed the shot,” Singh said. “I didn’t the guy put a body on me so I went up strong for the rebound and the shot.”

North Salem’s man-to-man defense took over in the fourth quarter, holding Pawling to scoreless for the first four minutes.

“They were expecting us to play zone, but coach had us go man-to-man so we could defend their three-point shooters,” Singh said. Pawling 10 10 17 15 -- 52North Salem 14 9 18 16 -- 57

Pawling (52) -- Cameron Thomas 5-1-11, Justin Mayette 2-4-8, Sean Morris 2-0-5, John Able 0-0-0, Marco Dominguez 3-0-9, Matt Morrison 3-2-8, Barthen 3-0-6, Aaron Thomas 2-0-5. Totals: 20-7-52. North Salem (57) -- George Corde 1-0-2, Umar Singh 8-4-20, Terry Beyer 4-2-10, Connor Holliday 1-2-4, Tommy Cole 0-5-5, Joe Tunas 4-0-9, James Langelotti 2-3-7, Tyler Costello 0-0-0, Kevin Zajc 0-0-0, Jesse Levy 0-0-0, Scott Martin 0-0-0, Peter Zambelletti 0-0-0. Totals: 20-16-57. 3-point goals -- Pw: Dominguez 3, Morris, A. Thomas; NS: Tunas.

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