Bulldogs prepare for boys basketball season

 

By Joel Charron

As the boys’ high school basketball season is about to begin, there are plenty of questions swirling around the General Amherst Sr. boys’ basketball team.

“We have quite a few kids that haven’t played high school ball and some haven’t played in a couple of years,” said head coach Dom Silvaggio.

Although the 2012/2013 Amherst hoop squad may have players that haven’t seen the hard wood in some time, it also has players that have anchored the team in years past.

Amherst veteran point guard Max Reiner, along with the big-bodied Todd Girard and the crafty Dylan Jaber will be called upon to lead this inexperienced squad this season.

“Our strength is most likely going to be Max and his ball handling skills,” said Silvaggio.  “Max should be able to break down any pressure we get.”

However, Reiner can’t do it alone.

The Bulldogs don’t have a towering center, but one thing they do have is length throughout the team.

“We don’t have anyone really, really, tall but we have plenty of guys who are 6’3”,” said Silvaggio. “That alone will cause some interesting mismatches for us.”

 

Joel Wilson goes hard to the basket from a slam dunk during practice.

Moving into a more prominate role this season will be Joel and TJ Wilson, who saw very little playing time coming off the bench last year.

Silvaggio mentioned that he’s liked what he’s seen from Joel in the early going, stating that the younger of the Wilson brothers has a much improved jump shot, which can be used to stretch opposing defenses.

“We can use him in the post or we can put him outside to draw out the other team’s big man,” said Silvaggio. “Joel’s shot gives us options.”

Silvaggio will also have a new weapon at his disposal, Reiner’s younger brother, Macaul.

Silvaggio has liked what he has seen from the Grade 9, mentioning that Macaul will most likely be the first person off the bench.

The Grade 9 phemon, who has yet to play a basketball game in a Bulldogs uniform, has drawn comparisons to former Amherst basketball star Trevor Boose.

“I see a lot of similarities between Trevor and Macaul,” said Silvaggio. “Macaul can’t hang in the air like Trevor did, but I think Macaul has a better shot than Trevor did at that age.”

Reiner said he’s been looking forward to sharing the same court with his brother for some time now.

“It’s going to be fun,” said Reiner. “I think we will thrive off each other.”

Reiner said the Bulldogs would be relying on their fast break and defense to win games.

The lack of depth may be an issue, however Reiner noted if they could play smart basketball the Bulldogs can avoid that problem.

“I think we are going to surprise teams,” said Reiner. “If teams think this is a down year for Amherst basketball, they are going to learn very quickly that we can play some ball.”

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