Amherst dominates Brennan in boys basketball home opener

By Joel Charron

The General Amherst Boys basketball team walked off the court after their 55-27 thrashing of the Brennan Cardinals with a sense of vindication Thursday night.

After falling to Essex, 57-45, earlier in the week in a game head coach Dom Silvaggio called his players as uninterested and tentative, the Bulldogs put in a dominating performance in the home opener.

“I was very happy with their play tonight,” said Silvaggio. “Tonight they went after loose balls and they hustled their butts off. I was very happy with their effort.”

The Bulldogs held a massive disparity in the rebounding department, out rebounding the Cardinals 42-15 and forced 42 Brennan turnovers.

Silvaggio said that Matt Duby, who has had a slow start to the season had his best game of the season on the boards.

“He hasn’t been playing up to the Duby standard but today he came to play,” he said.

Jeff Masson uses his body to keep a Brennan defender from driving towards the basket

The Bulldogs opened an 18-7 first quarter lead and poured in another 16 points in the second frame. The Bulldogs kept the Cardinals off the scoreboard until Brennan scored its first points of the second quarter with 20 seconds left to play in the half.

Amherst led 34-9 at halftime.

Amherst’s defense kept the pressure in the third quarter holding Brennan to six points, pushing their lead to 49-15.

Brennan surged forward in the final frame, however the hole was too deep for them to climb out off as Amherst cruised to the 55-27 win.

“We were pretty frustrated after the Essex game, we felt that we didn’t play to our potential and we weren’t that aggressive,” said  Amherst’s Mitch Girard.  ‘We wanted to come out in this game and prove that we are an aggressive team and that we are better than what we were on Tuesday.”

Girard said a big difference was rebounding.

“Everyone was crashing the board, not just the big guys,” he said.

Girard noted that the Bulldogs may have been walked around with inflated egos after winning a tournament over the weekend but the loss to Essex brought them back to earth.

According to Girard the biggest problem that faces the Bulldogs is confidence.

“None of us have any confidence,” he said. “Coaches know it, we know it.  We have to have confidence when we are playing.”

Assistant coach Stephen Silvaggio said the Bulldogs are “too nice” and need to find a mean streak.

“They are all too nice and too afraid to make a mistake,” he said.  “All of them should be thinking that they are the best players on the court. We’ll get to that point.”

Amherst has a busy week ahead of them with Herman visiting on Tuesday and Holy Names on Thursday.


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