Bulldogs end regular season and start playoffs on positive note

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

The General Amherst Bulldogs senior boys basketball team ended their regular season and began the playoffs in a span of 24 hours and won both games.

The Bulldogs’ preliminary round playoff game was last Thursday afternoon in the team’s final game this season on their home court. The Bulldogs came away with a 51-34 victory over the visiting Riverside Rebels.

Darius Wilson led the Bulldogs with 24 points. Macaul Reiner scored 17 while Sam Girard had seven points.

It was the final home game for Reiner, Girard and Isaiah Byrne, all of whom graduate at the end of this school year.

“(Riverside) was missing a few guys which was good for us,” said Reiner.

Macaul Reiner soars to the rim during Amherst’s win over L’Essor last Wednesday.

Macaul Reiner soars to the rim during Amherst’s win over L’Essor last Wednesday.

Reiner said he had a rough game but other players picked it up. Girard made note of Wilson’s strong performance. Byrne said the Bulldogs played better in the second half when they started driving to the basket and picking up rebounds.

The final home game wasn’t the way Reiner wanted it to happen, as he hoped he would play better.

“It’s a terrible way to end it for me,” said Reiner.

Girard said it was the same court anywhere they play and didn’t seem fazed by the fact it was his final home game as a Bulldog.

The team’s final regular season game was at home last Wednesday and they came away with a 72-40 win over L’Essor. Amherst held a 26-19 lead at the half but blew it open in the second half, particularly in the third quarter when they outscored L’Essor 32-8.

“That’s the way we should have played in the first half,” said Amherst assistant coach Dom Silvaggio.

L’Essor wanted to play a slower game and “we slowed right down with them” in the first half, Silvaggio added.

“We weren’t ready to play at all.”

Silvaggio noted they will face a lot of Tier 1 teams in the playoffs and “we have to take the challenge.”

Reiner had 20 points in the L’Essor game with Girard and Wilson each scoring 12 points.

“We really picked it up in the second half,” said Wilson.

The Bulldogs caused turnover and finished their shots, he added.

“Coach (Silvaggio) really made us work harder,” Wilson stated. “Our bench players played well when we put them in.”

Wilson believes they should match up well with other teams in the playoffs despite the fact that many teams don’t think they can do well because they are a Tier 2 team.

The Bulldogs’ quarterfinal game is Wednesday at Herman starting at 4 p.m.

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