This tactic worked like a charm and after eight fast and furious minutes of play in the third, the Hounds had managed to catch the Warriors and lock the game at 44-all.
However, the fourth period was all Cotter, as the home team outscored Salem 26-9 in the last frame to grab a 70-53 victory on the Warriors' homecoming night.
Later in the evening, the Lady Warriors made it a clean sweep of their Fulton County visitors with a 67-62 win.
In the boys' clash, Cotter used a big second period push to take a 36-25 advantage to intermission.
But the Hounds (0-2, 0-1) came out with purpose in the third period, led by Shane Smith. Smith tossed in 10 of his game-high 25 points in the third as Salem made its move.
The Greyhounds started getting in Cotter's passing lanes and generally created havoc, resulting in a rash of Warrior turnovers.
This defensive pressure turned into a big 13-0 burst for Salem midway into the third.
Smith rattled off six straight points in the rally to pull Salem within three, 42-39.
Then Steven Eubanks (11 points) knotted the game at 42-all with a trey that splashed through with 30 seconds left in the period. Cotter got a layup to move ahead, but once again Eubanks pulled Salem even with a knifing layup at the end of the period.
As much as the third period was Salem's, the fourth period was strictly owned by the homestanding Warriors.
The Hounds managed just nine points in the frame and Cotter closed the game on a 17-4 run to wipe out the gains Salem had made in the third.
J.W. Blevins (11 points) got off to a quick start in the game for Salem by busting a pair of triples in the first period, the second locking the contest at 12-all.
But Cotter's Kyle Cheek fired in an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Warriors a 15-12 lead after one.
Carson York (four points) racked up a bucket to start the second for Salem, but the Warriors responded with a 13-2 run during the middle portion of the second to move in front 36-25 at the break.
And although Salem put together an impressive push during the third, Cotter still walked away with a 70-53 victory.
In the girls' game, Cotter's one-two punch of Haley Stinnett and Brandy Miller led the Lady Warriors to a five-point victory. Stinnett poured in a game-high 23 points, while Miller knocked down six 3-pointers on her way to an 18-point evening.
But midway into the fourth period, the game was anyone's to take.
After trailing the whole night, by as many as 12 points, the Lady Greyhounds caught up with Cotter in the fourth.
Down 49-42 after three, Ashley Brooks opened the fourth with a huge 3-ball for Salem, followed by a pair of charity tosses from Chelsea Maguffee (11 points).
After a Cotter hoop, Terra Kinder stuck back a missed shot and Maguffee used an old-fashioned 3-point play to give Salem its first lead of the night, 52-51, with 5:40 left in the game. Kinder paced the Lady Greyhounds with 19 points.
Salem's lead was short-lived, as Miller and Stinnett hit a pair of 3-pointers apiece to push Cotter in front 61-55.
Laci Long (seven points) sank a layup and Kelly Passmore (13 points) drilled a huge trey with 18 ticks left, but the Lady Warriors managed to hang on for a 67-62 victory.
Miller hit four treys in the first eight minutes of action, including back-to-back ones 30 seconds apart late in the first period, to help Cotter in front 17-14 after one.
The Lady Warriors were in charge 29-17 right before the half when Salem closed the second with a nice finish.
Passmore kicked in a 3-ball and Long sank two free throws to pull Salem within 31-22 with 11 seconds showing on the clock. Passmore shook free for a hoop at the buzzer to send the teams to intermission with Cotter in front 31-24.
Jamie Bell finished with six points for Salem, while Bethany Pate added three.