Stuck in a league with Class AA and high-enrollment Class A foes, North Salem often needs its very best to compete. That generally means the Class B Tigers need something remarkable from seniors Umar Singh or Joey Tunas to win. On Tuesday, they got that — from both.
Singh and Tunas combined for 71 points in a memorable duel with Somers and its star John Decker. The section’s leading scorer dropped 44 points, but Singh’s 37 and Tunas’ 34 led North Salem to an 83-68 win over a team poised to be one of the top seeds in Class A.
All three players established career-highs. Singh, a 1,000-point scorer, started off strongest. He had 27 in the first half and finished with 17 rebounds.
“Before the game, coach (Henry Sassone) said ‘When are you going to have a monster game’ ” Singh said. “I took that under consideration. I said to myself, ‘I’m going to make this a big night.’ ”
Singh’s early success opened the floor for Tunas, who, like Decker, hit six 3-pointers as North Salem remained in front throughout.
“Some of the shots they threw up, I’ve never seen kids hit them,” Decker said. “It was frustrating to say the least.”
Decker is usually the one causing the head shaking. His previous career-high was 39, which he scored against Iona Prep at the Slam Dunk.
Ironically, as hot as Tunas was, he spent much of the game attempting to guard Decker.
“I might be the only player in Section 1 history who had 34 points and had a negative plus-minus,” Tunas said. “He’s incredible.”
Decker in two scoring races: Decker’s unconscious shooting this season has put the senior on the verge of 1,000 varsity points. He enters Friday night’s game at Brewster just 97 points shy of the milestone. He also averages a Section 1-best 25.7 points per game, but Dobbs Ferry junior Eric Paschall is closing in. He sits at 25.5 with two to play.
If healthy, Decker will have a minimum of five games (four regular season, one postseason) remaining to chase 1,000.
“I’m trying not to think about it,” Decker said. “I’m just trying to win.”
With both he and Paschall playing for County Center contenders, the scoring race could continue deep into this month. Decker also has yet to determine his future. He has received offers from three Division II programs: Pace, Dominican and Mercy.
Around the rim: Mount Vernon has extended its Coaches vs. Cancer event to two days this year. The Knights host Wadleigh Friday at 5, followed by Edgemont vs. Tuckahoe. They will host a triple-header Saturday beginning at 1 — Cardinal Spellman-Sleepy Hollow, Valhalla-Saunders and Bronxville-Eastchester. … Three Class AA teams have one loss. Two of them, North Rockland and Spring Valley, meet Monday at Spring Valley, which won the first meeting on the road.