North Salem Athletic Booster Club Basketball Tournament set for tip off


Photo by Benjamin Allen, HudValley Photo

The North Salem High School gym will be buzzing this weekend when the Tigers host the annual Booster Club Basketball Tournament. The tournament, which will involve teams from across Section I, helps raise funds for NSHS athletics and also serves as an athletic showcase for Tiger basketball. Games will kick off this Thursday, Jan. 12, with consolation and championship games on Saturday, Jan. 14.

The boys will get the tournament started on Thursday evening. Coach Chris Regan noted the squad’s resilience in the face of a tough season to date. “We fought back hard last weekend in an OT loss to Croton after being down by 15 points in the second half,” Regan said, adding that some players who had previously not played as much have stepped up in recent games to provide the team with more depth.

To help the boys prepare for the tournament, Regan is focused on consistency and fundamentals. “We are working every day in practice to be both better individual players and a better team,” he said.

Matt Mackenzie, North Salem varsity girls basketball coach, said his players are ready to compete. “This team has an incredible work ethic. They do an excellent job of taking care of the little things, focusing on the present, and building off past practices and games to better themselves in the future,” Mackenzie said. “We work on consistently applying this process, which I believe will lead us to be successful this upcoming weekend.”

The girls games will start Friday when they take on Keio Academy in the night’s second game at 6:30 p.m. (Tuckahoe will face Bronxville in the first game at 4:30 p.m.) Senior co-captains Emma Zoubok and Dana Connolly lead a strong starting five, which includes fellow senior Carolyne Barella and juniors Sarafina DiPaola and Jaiden Donovan.

“[Sarafina] has a knack for getting to the basket and is also a very strong rebounder,” said Mackenzie. Donovan is another player to watch, as she has the ability to score anywhere on the court and can change the momentum of a game at any moment.

North Salem's youth basketball players will also have the opportunity to play a part in the tournament. The 3rd and 4th grade Rec Basketball teams will form a tunnel for North Salem's respective varsity teams during introductions Thursday and Friday night. At halftime of each game, the 5th and 6th grade Rec teams will play a mini game. "It's a special way to bring the players of today--most of whom began playing in the Rec league many years ago--together with our players of tomorrow," said Regan.

For North Salem High School’s coaches and student athletes, the tournament represents far more than the numbers on the scoreboard. “We take a lot of pride playing in our Booster Club tournament,” said Mackenzie. “I have very fond memories participating in it during my time as a player here at North Salem. We look forward to being able to play in front of all of our supporters, and build a sense of community around the game of basketball in this town again.”

Photo by Benjamin Allen, HudValley Photo

Tournament Schedule

Thursday, Jan. 12 - Boys

4:30 p.m. - Carmel (home) vs. Blind Brook

6:30 p.m. - North Salem (home) vs. Pawling

Friday, Jan. 13 - Girls

4:30 p.m. - Tuckahoe (home) vs. Bronxville

6:30 p.m. - North Salem (home) vs. Keio

Saturday, Jan. 14 Finals

10:00 a.m. - Boys Consolation Game

12:00 p.m. - Girls Consolation Game

2:00 p.m. - Boys Championship Game

4:00 p.m. - Girls Championship Game

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